Saturday, May 20, 2023
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes that the national side skipper strikes the best cover drive in the world.
Pakistan's prolific batter Babar Azam is known for his impressive wristwork and has received widespread praise and acclaim home and abroad.
Afridi, who is a straightforward critic, chose the star cricketer over India's Virat Kohli and Australia's Steve Smith who also play the cover drive with perfection.
The former cricketer was asked to rank Babar's cover drive as compared with Kohli and Smith.
“Babar Azam, Virat [Kohli] and then [Steve] Smith,” Afridi responded while answering the question on a local news channel.
“Babar plays a beautiful cover drive,” he heaped praise on the 28-year-old batter.
Besides Afridi, Babar's way of playing a cover drive is highly commended by English cricket legend Nasser Hussain and former Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawardene.
"I have also talked about the one Kohli plays but Babar's cover drive is totally exceptional," Hussain said when asked about the best cover drive in the world.
Meanwhile, Jayawardene had no second thoughts before choosing Babar when responding to the same question, separately.
Earlier, Afridi had claimed that Azam is following the advice given by Pakistan team’s director Mickey Arthur.
Pakistan recently won the five-match ODI series 4-1 against New Zealand on home soil.
"We always talk about giving players a chance, and they have been given a chance. I think at the moment, Mickey and his management team are controlling all these things," Afridi said.
"Babar is also following what the management is saying at the moment because the World Cup is coming up, and we will have to make some experiments. Therefore, in my opinion, all the management, coaches, and captain are on the same page," he added.
Arthur is part of the coaching staff for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, away tour to Australia and home series against the West Indies. He will also be present with the side for Pakistan’s matches against India in the ACC Asia Cup.