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After Virat Kohli’s slow century in IPL 2024, Babar Azam opens-up about his slow strike rate in T20 cricket

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Over the weekend, the IPL showcased contrasting stories, with Virat Kohli’s awaited century sparking discussions about his strike rate. Despite his stellar performance, his strike rate stirred debate, highlighting the ongoing discourse around this aspect of modern cricket.

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In Saturday’s IPL 2024 match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Kohli finally broke his century drought with an unbeaten 113 runs off 72 balls, marking one of the slowest centuries in IPL history due to the lack of support from the other end.

Addressing this issue, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, often criticized for his strike rate, stressed the significance of prioritizing team success over personal statistics. Azam, in a podcast interview, emphasized adapting to match situations and focusing on winning rather than solely on strike rates.

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“People keep harping on about strike rate. I’m a different player, I adapt to the situation on the field. Cricket is evolving rapidly, but winning the match remains the ultimate goal,” Babar Azam said.

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Azam advocates for building innings strategically, especially in the face of early wickets, arguing that aggressive hitting isn’t always the solution. He believes in maintaining a balance between scoring and ensuring victory, asserting that strike rate is secondary to achieving the ultimate goal of winning matches.

“I focus on how to win matches, how to build an innings, and maintain a strike rate that contributes to that goal, strike rate is a separate story. Building an innings and winning a match are different things,” Azam added.

Furthermore, Azam dismissed the obsession with achieving a perfect strike rate, highlighting how critics constantly shift the goalposts. He asserts his focus on his unique style of play rather than comparing himself to others, emphasizing that success should be measured by contributions to team victories rather than arbitrary strike rate benchmarks.

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