Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has sharply criticized captain Babar Azam and the team’s senior players for their batting approach during their six-run defeat to India in the T20 World Cup.

After Pakistan’s bowlers restricted India to a modest 119, they seemed in control with six wickets in hand and needing 40 runs from 35 balls, even after Mohammad Rizwan’s dismissal. However, Pakistan’s sudden batting collapse led to widespread criticism from former cricketers.

Shoaib Malik Demands Babar Azam to Quit Pakistan Captaincy

“I have been saying for a long time, please leave captaincy. You are a class player, and you will only be able to show your class when you do not have additional responsibilities on you. If Babar stays away from captaincy, it will be good for him,” Shoaib Malik said about Babar Azam captaincy on Ten Sports.

Malik was particularly critical of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. He questioned why, during a relatively straightforward chase of 120, the focus seemed to be on improving strike rates. “People keep talking about Babar and Rizwan’s strike rates, so you brought in Saim Ayub,” Malik said. “Yesterday, it was a 120 chase, why were you trying to improve your strike rate yesterday? The platform was set in every manner. If, as a leader and a batter, your brain doesn’t kick in in these situations, when will it? I am forced to say today that the core of this team, in the T20I format, I think we have to stop backing them.”

Shoaib Malik Questions Mohammad Rizwan Shot Selection

He also criticized Rizwan’s shot selection during the match. “I didn’t understand that shot from Rizwan. They brought back their main bowler to pick up a wicket and Rizwan has been playing for so long and captaining in PSL. He should be familiar with the situation and put up his hand and say this is my match,” Malik said.

Pakistan’s next game is against Canada on Tuesday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

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