Is the captaincy starting to negatively impact Babar Azam's batting?

Asad T

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Babar has been dismissed six times so far in this ICC 2023 World Cup. Only once was it a geniunly good ball that got him. That was against India, when Siraj bowled a cross-seam delivery that kept low. The others have been very soft dismissals; they should have been hit to the fence or left alone. Look at the screenshots below:

1) Against the Netherlands, he got out pulling a half-tracker from Ackermann (a spinner) to mid wicket:

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2) Against Sri Lanka, he feathered a ball that was going down the leg side to the keeper:

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3) Against Australia, he again pulled a half-tracker from Zampa to mid-wicket:

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4) Against Afghanistan, he cut a half-tracker from Noor Ahmed (a spinner) to cover point:

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5) Against South Africa, he feathered one to the keeper that was angling on his legs:

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To me, it's a sign of a player who is not concentrating; all of these deliveries should have been put away to the fence. A short ball from a spinner should at least reach the deep mid-wicket boundary, and Babar hasn't been able to clear the inner circle. And the balls that were on his pads should have been helped along to the fence (or at the very least to fine leg for a single)

Everyone is human, and getting out to a poor ball happens once every so often, but 5 out of 6 times is a pattern and is possibly a sign of Babar not being present and losing focus. He is a good batsman, but perhaps it's a sign that the captancy is starting to take too much of a mental toll on him and that it's starting to impact his batting. Or is it a technical problem? What do you guys think?
 
I don't think it's the captaincy. He didn't let the captaincy affect his batting for years when most of us thought it would. He only got better and better. I think this here highlights his struggles against spin and most teams have caught on. The pitches are conducive. He just isn't that great at captaincy but remains a wonderful batter in most conditions. His game against spin hasn't developed like it should have in the past 4 years. Very apparent in his inability to sweep and regularly giving catches to short midwicket.
 
I think it's been affecting him all year. Maybe it didn't affect him before but with the rise in scrutiny of his captaincy day by day, the pressure is too much for him to handle. Regarding OP, Babar has a tendency of getting out to soft dismissals, even before this World Cup. It's excruciating to see. He looks decent and in rhythm and out of nowhere he'll pull an odd shot. I think he can excel as a batsman if that captaincy load is off of him but only if he is selfless in this process. I don't think he's been a horrible captain contrary to popular opinion. But in a country like Pakistan, I don't think the best player on the team should be captain as the insane amount of criticism can easily get inside their head. That's why I don't endorse Shaheen being captain either. Being captain of LQ vs Pak is a diff ball game. Can't risk him regressing more than he already has. He needs to work on getting more in shape, getting his pace back up, and increasing his variations. Rizwan should get the nod for now. At least in the white ball formats. I think Sarfraz can still handle test captaincy as he is in the test setup and has captaincy experience
 
I think babar is batting fine.
He has been consistent with his bat. Not hundreds but 50s for sure.

It is the rest of the team that is out of touch.

Babar however lacks management skills as a captain.
He should not be a captain because he's a good batsmen.
 
I don't think it's the captaincy. He didn't let the captaincy affect his batting for years when most of us thought it would. He only got better and better. I think this here highlights his struggles against spin and most teams have caught on. The pitches are conducive. He just isn't that great at captaincy but remains a wonderful batter in most conditions. His game against spin hasn't developed like it should have in the past 4 years. Very apparent in his inability to sweep and regularly giving catches to short midwicket.
I think bilaterals did not present much pressure.
But the pressure and knives have been mounting on Babar and he doesn’t have same support from Zaka as he did from Ramiz and even Najam.

Babar hasn’t looked himself. Look at his body language! He looks down and out.

On playing spin. He used to use his feet to go down the ground, play slog sweep, lofted clips on leg side. All these riskier shots have been shelved to play safe.

He is 500% impacted by captaincy and he is playing safe which is not working for him.
 
I think bilaterals did not present much pressure.
But the pressure and knives have been mounting on Babar and he doesn’t have same support from Zaka as he did from Ramiz and even Najam.

Babar hasn’t looked himself. Look at his body language! He looks down and out.

On playing spin. He used to use his feet to go down the ground, play slog sweep, lofted clips on leg side. All these riskier shots have been shelved to play safe.

He is 500% impacted by captaincy and he is playing safe which is not working for him.
I get your point. I still disagree on spin. He has constantly struggled against quality spin and on spinning tracks even before the WC. His spin playing ability in limited overs hasn't gotten much better since that Kuldeep dismissal in the 2019 WC.

For a player of his quality, he should be more confident and assertive against spin. 55% of his dismissals in ODIs in the last two years have come against spin. The T20i record is worse. Safe or not, he doesn't appear the same batter against quality spin like Kuldeep, Rashid, Maharaj, Mujeeb, Zampa or even someone like Aryan Dutt as he does against the best fast bowling attacks in the world. It's not like he can't improve, it's just that he hasn't — captaincy or not.
 
One thing is for sure babars doesnt have the strong nerves, he cant handle pressure at all so that sort of guy doesnt derve to be a captain of national side.

He must resign gracefully and just focus on his betting.
 
One thing is for sure babars doesnt have the strong nerves, he cant handle pressure at all so that sort of guy doesnt derve to be a captain of national side.

He must resign gracefully and just focus on his betting.
Opinions are not enough. We need to see data to deep dive the issue here.

See Babar’s numbers against spin. He’s actually better at playing spin than pace. He has an average of 90 and SR of 92 against between 2019 and just before the World Cup.
No weakness against any type of spin bowler. He absolutely thrashed Shamsi before.

In this World Cup, he’s been overly cautious and defensive, which has made him susceptible against spin. He has not shown willingness to slog sweep, which he nails more often than not. Additionally, he has recently hit sixes against spin on the front foot as well, whereas previously, he usually came down the track to hit spin. He hasn’t deployed any of those attacking options.
Instead he’s stuck on the crease and creating pressure on himself.
He needs to just bat normally and get out of his shell
 

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One of the most overrated batter in the world , he is above average at the best . Has not scored any significant match winning inning against big boys or in any important match. Yes, can improve if relieved from captaincy , he is not a captaincy material at all.
 
Opinions are not enough. We need to see data to deep dive the issue here.

See Babar’s numbers against spin. He’s actually better at playing spin than pace. He has an average of 90 and SR of 92 against between 2019 and just before the World Cup.
No weakness against any type of spin bowler. He absolutely thrashed Shamsi before.

In this World Cup, he’s been overly cautious and defensive, which has made him susceptible against spin. He has not shown willingness to slog sweep, which he nails more often than not. Additionally, he has recently hit sixes against spin on the front foot as well, whereas previously, he usually came down the track to hit spin. He hasn’t deployed any of those attacking options.
Instead he’s stuck on the crease and creating pressure on himself.
He needs to just bat normally and get out of his shell
From this post, it seems he is having trouble handling the world cup pressure.
 
Babar has not done bad considering his overall stats as a captain. His batting average is also good being a captain. I would say that it is not his captaincy and his batting, but it the support from other guys that is lacking here. Apart from Shaheen, no other bowler has supported him. Batting is also weak. Fielding we all know about. So it is not just babar but other guys around him as well.
 
Babar has not done bad considering his overall stats as a captain. His batting average is also good being a captain. I would say that it is not his captaincy and his batting, but it the support from other guys that is lacking here. Apart from Shaheen, no other bowler has supported him. Batting is also weak. Fielding we all know about. So it is not just babar but other guys around him as well.
Brother babar has always had this glaring issue. Those 3 50's are match losing 50's. The afg game he was beyond timid. He always has been.

Excluding b and c teams, to give babar credit he does do decent against quality bowling, but against quality bowling he sticks in and manages to overcome obstacles and anchores but he's unable to take the game away from you.

His highlight innings in 2019 while it is good on a difficult pitch taking Pakistan through by anchoring, the sr was still 79. He's never done anything close to the likes of warmer, rohit, kohli even Rahul for that matter. Never dominated anyone unless the attack is Nepal or d string sa.

I've said it multiple times, Babar is just bootleg Muhammad yousaf. Both are soft scorers but yousaf atleast scored and backed his batsmen against quality bowling and with yousaf you still felt that he'd take the game away, because as ling as he's their, others bats have a license to attack.

With babar it's not like that at all, he infact purs more pressure on batters at the other hand because he expects them to do all the scoring while he carries on his merry way. The fact that babar waited till he got his 100 to rapid fire attack Nepal shows how spineless he is. He could have easily bashed like chacha was doing from the get go considering how weak the bowling is, but he waited till his 100 was achieved to get the next rapid fire 50
 
Getting involved in corrupt activities i.e. accepting monetary benefits, commissions for selections is what has ruined him.
 
This is a graph of Babar's ODI batting average since his debut vs Google Trends search about him.

This is just anecdotal stuff. So to be taken with a pinch of salt. But this kind of suggests (albeit very loosely) that pressure is taking a toll on his batting.

You can see how his form this year has dipped as he trends higher on Google Trends.

While he may have been trending for good reasons in the past, I can't imagine him trending for good reasons right now, so I use that as a gauge for pressure.


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Babar seems to be an introverted person.

A Leadership position should never go to someone who is introverted. A leader needs to be expressive, charismatic, and inspirational.

Captaincy seems to have impacted his batting. He should be relieved from the burden of captaincy.
 
He knows the player that he is and he’s made peace with it. He’s not pushing himself to be anything greater
 
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