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Pakistan Super League 2023

Watch: ‘What do you want it to be?’ – Babar Azam humorously snaps back at journalist for questioning strike rate

Babar Azam bats for Peshwar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (L), Babar speaks during a press conference (R)
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Babar Azam had the perfect response to a reporter questioning his approach with the bat during Peshawar Zalmi’s defeat to Islamabad United.

Babar top-scored for his side, making an unbeaten 75 off 58 balls, but Islamabad United coasted to victory by six wickets with more than five overs to spare.

Asked about his strike rate following the defeat, Babar responded with another question: “Kitna achha chahiye aapko? [How much better do you want it to be?],” he said, speaking in Urdu.


“200,” someone can be heard replying.

“300 kar lein aap! [Make it 300!],” Babar responded, a quip that left the gathered members of the press highly amused.

“The effort is there,” Babar continued. “You’re done with your question, right?”

Babar was probed further, and went on to give an explanation of his change in intent during his innings. He began swiftly, racing to 36 off 21 as he and Mohammad Haris put up an opening stand of 76 in seven overs. But after Haris’ dismissal for 40, Peshawar Zalmi suffered a collapse, losing four wickets in the space of three overs. Having managed five fours and one six in the first four overs, Babar hit just two more fours in the rest of the innings, and explained how he felt the need to drop anchor.

“People say things, even if we score,” Babar said. “It doesn’t matter. To respond to your question: for the first ten overs, my strike rate was almost 160. But after we were six down, then I wouldn’t attempt to touch 200. I’ll try to build a partnership. That was my approach in this innings. When you build momentum, you aim to carry it all the way through. You shouldn’t be breaking it down. You have to break it down when wickets fall back to back and you’re unable to hit your shots.

“My plan was to build a partnership in the 10 overs, because with [Dasun] Shanaka, we aimed to go normally till the 15th over and charge in the last five. After that, wickets fell back to back, after that – see, strike rate tends to go down, still I was at 150.”

Babar had time for one last quip, upon being asked why he looked angry at the end of his innings. “Actually my bat broke!” he explained.

Peshawar Zalmi, of whom Babar is the captain after an off-season team switch, currently sit fourth in the Pakistan Super League 2023 table, with two wins and two defeats from four games.

Watch the Babar press conference exchange below:

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