"I definitely prefer a higher strike rate over having a high average": Azhar Mahmood

The Bald Eagle

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Pakistan Head Coach Azhar Mahmood speaking after the 4th T20I:

"We have to give credit to how New Zealand played tonight, there were a lot of positives in our camp as well, the only problem area is that they ran 15 double runs while we managed only 6 double, even though we hit more boundaries than them.

As you can see, when we hit towards long on and long off, we often only run a single but in T20 cricket, these 4 to 6 runs can make a significant impact.

We bowled 12 extras including a no-ball on which we conceded a boundary and I think we allowed them to take control of the game by giving away 20 extra runs. However, I will appreciate our bowlers too because if you see New Zealand were 93/1 in 10 overs but restricting them to 178 runs was something remarkable from our bowlers.

I definitely prefer a higher strike rate over having a high average, if you look at the matches Pakistan played under me, they showed intent. If you see bigger teams they maintain their strike rate throughout the game. In batting first Australia's average is 189 similarly, India's average is around 182 but our average score is 157. So, we need to change that. I know we have lost 2 matches, but we are moving towards improving ourselves."
 
Pakistan Head Coach Azhar Mahmood speaking after the 4th T20I:

"We have to give credit to how New Zealand played tonight, there were a lot of positives in our camp as well, the only problem area is that they ran 15 double runs while we managed only 6 double, even though we hit more boundaries than them.

As you can see, when we hit towards long on and long off, we often only run a single but in T20 cricket, these 4 to 6 runs can make a significant impact.

We bowled 12 extras including a no-ball on which we conceded a boundary and I think we allowed them to take control of the game by giving away 20 extra runs. However, I will appreciate our bowlers too because if you see New Zealand were 93/1 in 10 overs but restricting them to 178 runs was something remarkable from our bowlers.

I definitely prefer a higher strike rate over having a high average, if you look at the matches Pakistan played under me, they showed intent. If you see bigger teams they maintain their strike rate throughout the game. In batting first Australia's average is 189 similarly, India's average is around 182 but our average score is 157. So, we need to change that. I know we have lost 2 matches, but we are moving towards improving ourselves."
Bazid surprisingly pressed him on this by asking him,

“Do you have this as a criteria throughout your top 6 or the top 3 have a different criteria and the bottom have this criteria” :ROFLMAO:

Azhar responded by saying that you are now seeing more intent.

Well that’s not really true. Babar and Rizwan are still the same
 
Whether you agree with Azhar's comments or not - they are refreshing from a Pakistani !

Proper analysis using data and not the usual tired cliches like "better team won on day, not up to the mark in all departments, qudrat ka nizam" etc.
 
Bazid should have asked him to get them to try and reverse the batting order for the sake of experimentation
 
Whether you agree with Azhar's comments or not - they are refreshing from a Pakistani !

Proper analysis using data and not the usual tired cliches like "better team won on day, not up to the mark in all departments, qudrat ka nizam" etc.
So far he’s giving it large though

How can this PCB be setting up to win a World Cup with both Babar and Rizwan in the top 3…but at the same time say “we care about strike rates and not averages”?

Babar and Rizwan don’t listen to the manual. They play how they want.
 
Whether you agree with Azhar's comments or not - they are refreshing from a Pakistani !

Proper analysis using data and not the usual tired cliches like "better team won on day, not up to the mark in all departments, qudrat ka nizam" etc.

Qudrat Ka Nizam nearly won the World Cup in the Holy Land Dubai, and in the process it may have even succeeded in converting Mathew Hayden to Islam.

Put some respect on BallSaq, thanks.
 
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Can someone check babar's t20 avg now?

It's been dropping since 2022: it use to be 50.

Has it dropped below 40 yet?
 
Can someone check babar's t20 avg now?

It's been dropping since 2022: it use to be 50.

Has it dropped below 40 yet?
I checked, it was 41 and now its 40.

So since last 2 years his avg has dropped from 50 to 40?
 
So far he’s giving it large though

How can this PCB be setting up to win a World Cup with both Babar and Rizwan in the top 3…but at the same time say “we care about strike rates and not averages”?

Babar and Rizwan don’t listen to the manual. They play how they want.
Well there's the next match, and the series against Ireland and England to impose his Strike Rate > Average philosophy.

One thing's for sure is our previous local coaches like Saqlain, Waqar and Misbah would never give a detailed, data-backed analysis like this. That shows Azhar's come from a professional coaching background and is not simply coasting on his reputation as a player like his predecessors.
 
Well there's the next match, and the series against Ireland and England to impose his Strike Rate > Average philosophy.

One thing's for sure is our previous local coaches like Saqlain, Waqar and Misbah would never give a detailed, data-backed analysis like this. That shows Azhar's come from a professional coaching background and is not simply coasting on his reputation as a player like his predecessors.
No coach is good enough though for Babar?

Babar has been coached by everybody. I don't think any other captain has had as many coaches as this bafoon.
 
He's pointing to some genuine rookie errors i.e. lack of urgency in running between wickets, lose bowling, conceding extras.

Let's hope something good comes out of this chittar.
 
He's pointing to some genuine rookie errors i.e. lack of urgency in running between wickets, lose bowling, conceding extras.

Let's hope something good comes out of this chittar.
It won't , Babar had bradburn as his coach and he couldn't do anything

Coaches are useless if players don't listen.

Bro yousaf in the nets at age 49 was playing spin better then anyone in our unit. Chacha edged it in theb3rd attempt, and people are wondering why he faiked today lol.

A 49 year old is better then your unit, heck a burnt out saqlain bowled and nuked babar lol
 
They all unanimously voted for Babar as captain

What’s the point of making a strategy of “strike rates above averages” with this guy as your captain?
He can't speak openly I guess. BA lobby too strong for him.
 
No coach is good enough though for Babar?

Babar has been coached by everybody. I don't think any other captain has had as many coaches as this bafoon.
Here's my stance. If Azhar gets the job permanently or at least for the T20 World Cup, which I believe is likely (talk of Kirsten and Gillespie seems like a topi drama), then he must deliver on these words and prepare to give Babar some home truths if he doesn't align with his philosophy.

Most importantly, PCB need to back him.

Fans constantly pine for a white-ball revolution like England's in 2015 but forget it wasn't just Eoin Morgan or Trevor Bayliss leading it - they were totally supported by the director of cricket Andrew Strauss and the ECB hierachy.

Under previous PCB Chairs, Babar was allowed to run the team like a medieval monarchy. Mohsin Naqvi must clearly state this second stint is different and the same stale, conservative brand of cricket won't be tolerated.
 
Here's my stance. If Azhar gets the job permanently or at least for the T20 World Cup, which I believe is likely (talk of Kirsten and Gillespie seems like a topi drama), then he must deliver on these words and prepare to give Babar some home truths if he doesn't align with his philosophy.

Most importantly, PCB need to back him.

Fans constantly pine for a white-ball revolution like England's in 2015 but forget it wasn't just Eoin Morgan or Trevor Bayliss leading it - they were totally supported by the director of cricket Andrew Strauss and the ECB hierachy.

Under previous PCB Chairs, Babar was allowed to run the team like a medieval monarchy. Mohsin Naqvi must clearly state this second stint is different and the same stale, conservative brand of cricket won't be tolerated.
Theirs a difference with the England analogy.

Morgan understood what went wrong in 2015 and sought to build a proper team. He had plenty of help but his main interest was to build a team.

All he cared about was the cup in 2019 that's it. It was easy for any coach, selector, chairman etc to work for him cause he himself is motivated.

Babar wants captaincy for a few reasons that are irrelevant to the team.

A) He's milestone obsessed and obviously wants opening position in t20 as its the easiest position to get a 100 which is all he cares about aka statistically looking good on paper.

Being a captain in lahore also gives him access to things, like against Nepal, he was involved in helping the curators prepare pitches and he deliberately did so to prevent lamicane spin, hence he scored the 150 lol.

B) Being a captain gives him control over selections as he's on the board and has A HUGE SAY as to who gets in and doesn't. This allows him to select full strength teams and look good on paper against depleted teams hence his captaincy record.

If you look at babar's record only area he is beyond poor is India and the reason is because Pakistan doesn't play India on tours, India is the only team that babar has never had the luxury if playing its c or d string resulting in exposure.

C) Last but not least, Being captain gives him access to connections, easier chances for social media fame hence him being the most followed Pakistani cricketer on Instagram and secure his future once he retires by getting high salary positions in the pcb governing board.

D) Being captain and the star player of Pakistan team hence the intention of opening also gives him chances to get high prices for leagues so its a good marketing strategy for psl but the hundred saw through this ploy.

^^ Every thing babar has done is related to social media fame, League purchases, securing his stats on a stat sheet, and securing his future for a high salary position in PCB.

He doesn't give a crap about the team itself and unless thar problem is fixed, even resurrecting Bradman from the dead to coach babar and build a team is not going to work.
 
Theirs a difference with the England analogy.

Morgan understood what went wrong in 2015 and sought to build a proper team. He had plenty of help but his main interest was to build a team.

All he cared about was the cup in 2019 that's it. It was easy for any coach, selector, chairman etc to work for him cause he himself is motivated.

Babar wants captaincy for a few reasons that are irrelevant to the team.

A) He's milestone obsessed and obviously wants opening position in t20 as its the easiest position to get a 100 which is all he cares about aka statistically looking good on paper.

Being a captain in lahore also gives him access to things, like against Nepal, he was involved in helping the curators prepare pitches and he deliberately did so to prevent lamicane spin, hence he scored the 150 lol.

B) Being a captain gives him control over selections as he's on the board and has A HUGE SAY as to who gets in and doesn't. This allows him to select full strength teams and look good on paper against depleted teams hence his captaincy record.

If you look at babar's record only area he is beyond poor is India and the reason is because Pakistan doesn't play India on tours, India is the only team that babar has never had the luxury if playing its c or d string resulting in exposure.

C) Last but not least, Being captain gives him access to connections, easier chances for social media fame hence him being the most followed Pakistani cricketer on Instagram and secure his future once he retires by getting high salary positions in the pcb governing board.

D) Being captain and the star player of Pakistan team hence the intention of opening also gives him chances to get high prices for leagues so its a good marketing strategy for psl but the hundred saw through this ploy.

^^ Every thing babar has done is related to social media fame, League purchases, securing his stats on a stat sheet, and securing his future for a high salary position in PCB.

He doesn't give a crap about the team itself and unless thar problem is fixed, even resurrecting Bradman from the dead to coach babar and build a team is not going to work.
Well it's simple. If Babar doesn't wish to change his philosophy and is hellbent on ensuring his second stint is merely a continuation of his first - we replace him with somebody else.
 
Bazid surprisingly pressed him on this by asking him,

“Do you have this as a criteria throughout your top 6 or the top 3 have a different criteria and the bottom have this criteria” :ROFLMAO:

Azhar responded by saying that you are now seeing more intent.

Well that’s not really true. Babar and Rizwan are still the same
Tbf Babar was actually showing some intent today. Too bad it only lasted a few balls.
 
How’s he going to hold on to the millions and millions of dumb social media fans?
If he continues to play the way he does he will end up losing both fans and rankings....may be captaincy too.
 
No batter has career strike rate of above 140-150 in the current team. Shadab being the highest strike rate player. This shows where we stand.
 
As far as age is concerned, Babar is under 30

Just letting you know, my question was how can he remain no 1 for you or world class?

He regressed since 2022, afterwards he'd been memed as Nepal E Azam. Like I said the babar of 2016-2021 is gone. Changes in tenchique, his new dad bod and milestone obsession has ruined him.
 
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Just letting you know, my question was how can he remain no 1 for you or world class?

He regressed since 2022, afterwards he'd been memed as Nepal E Azam. Like I said the babar of 2016-2021 is gone. Changes in tenchique, his new dad bod and milestone obsession has ruined him.
I would agree that he has regressed especially in t20 format. He stays no. 1 and world class bec despite of going a level down, he is still level above rest of the players. World-class is a term for present day and world. With current cricketers, He is a world-class batter along with handful of others.
 
Now mark my words, in the last game all the big names will score runs like crazy SR to keep the media and fans calm. Right after that going into other matches they will again start stat-padding with their conventional pathetic tuk tuk.
 
Now mark my words, in the last game all the big names will score runs like crazy SR to keep the media and fans calm. Right after that going into other matches they will again start stat-padding with their conventional pathetic tuk tuk.
Two senior journalists who are quite close to Babar are saying Rizwan+Babar opening combination will be back against England series

I’m telling you, this is all talk from Azhar Mahmood and management
 
Two senior journalists who are quite close to Babar are saying Rizwan+Babar opening combination will be back against England series

I’m telling you, this is all talk from Azhar Mahmood and management
ok then we r not even going to qualify for the Super 8 in this WC.
 
Two senior journalists who are quite close to Babar are saying Rizwan+Babar opening combination will be back against England series

I’m telling you, this is all talk from Azhar Mahmood and management
Babar: Saim failed so we think no 3 is his position. Me and rizwan will open.

Me: Tu nei apna ap dekha hai iss series mein?
 
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Babar: Saim failed so we think no 3 is his position. Me and rizwan will open.

Me: Tu nei apna ap dekha hai iss series mein?
None of that matters for this lot

Babar and Rizwan are rewarded for failure of themselves and failure of others. Plus they are rewarded for the success of musical chairs players performing in middle order positions
 
None of that matters for this lot

Babar and Rizwan are rewarded for failure of themselves and failure of others. Plus they are rewarded for the success of musical chairs players performing in middle order positions

When others fail - we don’t have time to waste, babar and Riz are the solution

When babar and Riz fail - are you some kind of wrist slitter, give them time.
 
Azhar is saying stuff that he cannot make possible. Rizwan is the worst of the top-order guys. Lowest strike rate and highest average. Will he kick him out from the next series? I doubt it.
 
Azhar Mahmood speaking about his appointment as Assistant Coach during the press conference:

“First of all, I would like to thank PCB for considering me and giving me this opportunity. As Mohsin Naqvi mentioned, I was working in the league and have come here. My only purpose is to see how we can take Pakistan up and that will be our planning behind it. As Mohsin Naqvi mentioned, we have two coaches coming, this is the first time in Pakistan’s history that we are bringing two coaches who will look at the red and white ball format. My role becomes very important in this because I am bridging the gap between players and coaching staff. Look at the experience of Gary Kirsten, he is a World Cup-winning head coach, he has a very good record. Jason Gillespie, he has performed very well in county cricket. So, we do not lack talent, we only lack guidance on how to groom our players and at this time at the international level, how cricket is being played, what method is being used, and what planning is behind it, how can we plan it.”​
 
Azhar: we need to go with strike rates over averages in the powerplay

Gary: yeah no mate, Babar and Rizwan are what we will go with.
 
Azhar Mahmood speaking during an interview:

“I think our team has got much stronger [as compared to when Pakistan played the 2022 T20 World Cup final], and with the comeback of Imad and Amir, now we have got experience,”

“We have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, Haris Raud has started to bowl very well and his fitness has improved. We can use Imad upfront, especially in the West Indies, Shadab Khan is also there, so our basis, when it comes to bowling, is more than covered.”

“In terms of batting, with the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman we don’t have many problems in the top order,”

“We are struggling at number three, four and five and we aren’t too good at capitalising the solid base our top order can set”

“Teams around the world tend to dominate between the overs 10-20, but for this period we haven’t shown a good conversion rate in the past.”

“I think our team has got much stronger [as compared to when Pakistan played the 2022 T20 World Cup final], and with the comeback of Imad and Amir, now we have got experience,”

“We have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, Haris Raud has started to bowl very well and his fitness has improved. We can use Imad upfront, especially in the West Indies, Shadab Khan is also there, so our basis, when it comes to bowling, is more than covered.”

“To be honest, we should have won against New Zealand, but the series made it clear where we need to improve,”

“Our boundary ratio with top teams is comparatively less, we are conceding a bit too many dot balls, and not running between the wickets as much as the top teams do.

“So far, we don’t have the players who can maintain a high scoring rate in the latter overs, but it’s not something to be too much worried about because you can’t write Pakistan off in the T20 format. One player can take the match away in this format and we have seven more T20s to resolve our issues.”

“[Saim and Azam] haven’t played many international matches, we have identified the talent in Saim, he has been one of the best players in his position in T20 leagues, but has struggled to convert starts into big runs,”

“Usman, meanwhile, showed what he can do with how he played in the last T20 against New Zealand. If a player has scored two centuries in the PSL, you can’t rule him out.”

“If you talk about Azam, he has played only eight international games and has made two comebacks but he can surely clear the rope, but it’s not easy to score down the order, it’s just a matter of clicking.”

“We might go back to playing with the same combination (Babar and Rizwan as openers), we have to have this discussion with Gary. We are still looking for the best combination; no numbers are fixed.”

“But we are very clear on how we want to approach batting and looking at ways to enhance where we are lacking to improve our average, which is why we are trying different combinations. If we establish firepower down the order, we can rely on the Babar and Rizwan at the top.”
 
What?

Is he serious?
I think azhar contradicted himself lol.

He first said Rizwan, Babar and Fakhar aren't the problem, but the issue is no 3, 4 and 5.

But in the Last series rizwan batted at 3 and fakhar at 4?

Or Is he saying rizwan and fakhar won't be an issue because they'll come back at opening? I doubt that'll happen for fakhar and it'll probs happen for rizzu though
 
Azhar statements are full of contradictions and half baked facts.i thinks that's where pak cricket is travelling sadly.why the hell every pak coach has to toe the rizbar's line.Hope Gary have sense to prevent it .Let Rizbar open and chase 200 atleast once in eng and get whatever they want.
 
Not sure why everyone is so surprised by Azhar's statement. He has already said last series that the top 4 for pakistan is going to be Babar, Rizwan, Saim, Fakhar in no particular order.

Its the middle order which he is unsure of and whether they are going to be playing Salman, Ifti, Azam, Irfan or even Usman Khan.
 
Not sure why everyone is so surprised by Azhar's statement. He has already said last series that the top 4 for pakistan is going to be Babar, Rizwan, Saim, Fakhar in no particular order.

Its the middle order which he is unsure of and whether they are going to be playing Salman, Ifti, Azam, Irfan or even Usman Khan.
Rizwan should come out of comfort zone of 127 strike rate and go all guns blazing otherwise it is good to keep him out. Rizwan's problem is he is of no use if he has to play down the order. Better to leave him out and play Saim/ Babar Usman and fakhar.
 
Rizwan should come out of comfort zone of 127 strike rate and go all guns blazing otherwise it is good to keep him out. Rizwan's problem is he is of no use if he has to play down the order. Better to leave him out and play Saim/ Babar Usman and fakhar.

Management: Rizwan, you need to come out of your comfort zone and score at 180 sr at least as an opener in the powerplay

Rizwan: Haaunestly, aisa karne se main khush nahi hoon!
 
Management: Rizwan, you need to come out of your comfort zone and score at 180 sr at least as an opener in the powerplay

Rizwan: Haaunestly, aisa karne se main khush nahi hoon!
Why did you stop at 180? Everyone should be going at 200 SR atleast in the power play
 
Why did you stop at 180? Everyone should be going at 200 SR atleast in the power play
Yes, that’s an acceptable demand when you have 36 balls with only 2 fielders outside in the year 2024 in case you haven’t realised.
 
Yes, that’s an acceptable demand when you have 36 balls with only 2 fielders outside in the year 2024 in case you haven’t realised.
I wonder how many of our 'hitters' can even play at 140 SR in the power play, let alone 200 as you propose :facepalm
 
I wonder how many of our 'hitters' can even play at 140 SR in the power play, let alone 200 as you propose :facepalm
Yeah I wonder who they are when the ones being glorified and given long ropes are the ones who settle for 120 in the powerplay
 
I wonder how many of our 'hitters' can even play at 140 SR in the power play, let alone 200 as you propose :facepalm
In the PSL we have hitters who can play at > 140 SR. SAIM, haris, Azam, Tayyab Tahir, heck saud shakeel played at > 140 as an opener and he isn't even a t20 mould. Usman Khan also played at > 140.

The issue is the players who get selected either don't get to open or bat at no 3, or if they do get the opportunity like saim and Usman khan, they just don't really get off the mark and aren't consistent in international.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't give then long ropes and try harder. It doesn't help when rizwan even in PSL Strines at 110 to 122 SR and never goes beyond that.
 
Management: Rizwan, you need to come out of your comfort zone and score at 180 sr at least as an opener in the powerplay

Rizwan: Haaunestly, aisa karne se main khush nahi hoon!

I don’t have killer Urdu like Rizwan but maybe this to:

‘Bhai Saab, 180 Saatrikeee Raayte app ko nehi chaiyeh, molvi saab ne yeh farmayah; 180 total chaiyeh, pir sab Pakistan team koh Janat naseeb hai.’
 
I don’t have killer Urdu like Rizwan but maybe this to:

‘Bhai Saab, 180 Saatrikeee Raayte app ko nehi chaiyeh, molvi saab ne yeh farmayah; 180 total chaiyeh, pir sab Pakistan team koh Janat naseeb hai.’
Spiritual journey to 180 lol
 
The stubbornness to accept this is an issue by the captain, that’s a bigger problem
He does accept it. He just doesn't blame himself or think he's or rizwan is the problem. In his eyes its all saim ayub's fault for not kicking off and giving the team 80 of 5 overs.

He did the same in the world cup, where he was first blaming fakhar for not doing the sr Job and them finally praised him for 60 of 100 against NZ.

Bro trust me I've met alot of people like babar in my life, these types of people have that feminine karen vibe of "Oh my god why isn't my man being more romantic for me?"

A true leader leads by example plain and simple, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummings, Inran Khan, Dhoni, Ricky pointing etc etc. If you want youngsters to put in the effort, then you yourself gotta abide.

Role models are a thing in this universe, too bad for Babar, you can't explain such a concept to him, it'll be like trying to explain the world is round to a flat earther.
 
He specifically said him and Rizwan have scored 70 as well and have also chased down 200
Well let bygones be bygones, the thing is now let players like Saim and Fakhar open. And keep these anchors in reserve until we really collapse.
 
Well let bygones be bygones, the thing is now let players like Saim and Fakhar open. And keep these anchors in reserve until we really collapse.
Yes you conveniently say and hope that will be the case…

But it will not be. Babar and Rizwan will play at least 6 out of 7 World Cup games as openers (possibly a good majority of the Ireland and England games too).

Fakhar and Saim will be at 3 and 4
 
Well let bygones be bygones,
Why should I? This is the reason why this guy keeps getting rewarded for failures. His failures are always forgiven and forgotten. Others are never given this much leeway
 
Well let bygones be bygones, the thing is now let players like Saim and Fakhar open. And keep these anchors in reserve until we really collapse.
Based of what azhar mehmood said, Babar and rizwan will be opening this cup.

@Rana correctly predicted how the planning would work.
 
For Pakistan to wake up, it might be advisable to get knocked out before Super 8s. Otherwise two years down the line, you will see the same patterns
Won't happen, Pakistan won't lose to Canada or USA or Ireland.

Imad and abrar are too good when it comes to dealing with minnows. The pacers will get butchered though.

India theirs no chance. I can see abrar not getting tonked but everyone else gets smashed.

The bowling is too weak to really bother big teams, amd the batting is too pedestrian to chase anything over 170 or if they bat first, they won't cross 180, 179-180 is max limit. If the conditions are slow and bowling friendly then expect 180 scores to be common while Pakistan will linger in the 140 to 150 range.

But minnows Pakistan won't struggle. Maybe they can get knocked out against Ireland. I've seem Canada and USA. USA needs Corey Anderson miracle to win and Canada is good but not that good.

These guys are minnows.
 
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