Watch: Babar’s struggles continue as Cummins’ insane delivery cuts short innings | Cricket


For Pakistan’s star batter Babar Azam, 2023 was essentially a year he wouldn’t look back with much to relish. Under his captaincy, Pakistan failed to make it to the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup, couldn’t qualify for the Asia Cup final, and didn’t succeed at clinching a home Test series. Babar’s batting performances remained largely indifferent, too, which hasn’t changed for the former Pakistan captain during the ongoing tour of Australia. On Wednesday, Babar was dismissed for merely one as Australia captain Pat Cummins delivered an absolute beauty to cut short the batter’s knock in Melbourne.

Babar Azam dismissed on 1 by Pat Cummins during the 2nd Test at the MCG(X/cricketcomau)
Babar Azam dismissed on 1 by Pat Cummins during the 2nd Test at the MCG(X/cricketcomau)

Babar had arrived at the crease merely an over before, and Cummins – who had picked the earlier wicket, too – was in the midst of a lethal spell. Delivering a length delivery, Cummins got the ball to seam inwards rather fiercely; Babar thought he had the line covered, but the ball made just enough movement to go through the bat-pad gap, ending the Pakistan star’s knock.

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Babar had scores of 21 and 14 in the opening Test of the series in Perth, where the side faced a mammoth 360-run defeat. The Pakistan batter has endured a rough patch since the ODI World Cup in October-November, where he registered four fifty-plus but scored 320 runs overall in nine matches. He averaged 40. Many had urged for Babar to step down as captain following his poor performance at the World Cup, reasoning that a lack of captaincy-related pressure would help Babar’s batting performance.

Following Babar’s resignation as captain, Shan Masood took over the leadership role in the longest format of the game, while star pacer Shaheen Afridi was handed captaincy in T20Is. No formal announcement has been made for ODI leadership so far.

In the Melbourne Test, Pakistan bowled Australia out for 318, with Aamer Jamal picking three wickets—Marnus Labuschagne (63) top-scored for the hosts in the first innings. Pakistan did face an early setback with opener Imam-ul-Haq departing on 10, but Abdullah Shafique (62), alongside captain Masood, forged a 90-run stand to rebuild the innings.

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