Babar Azam picks six Indians in Indo-Pak T20 XI; opts for both himself and Kohli

Pakistan’s golden boy Babar Azam, in a conversation with Harsha Bhogle, picked his Indo-Pak T20 XI, and interestingly opted for six Indians in his side, including both himself and Virat Kohli. Babar’s Indo-Pak T20 XI also included Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Amir.

A batsman who is known for his conventional strokeplay, Babar Azam has taken world cricket by storm ever since making his international debut back in 2015 and has excelled as a ‘complete batsman’, averaging over 45 in all three formats of the game. He has, however, taken a special liking to the T20 format, averaging over 50, having scored 13 fifties in 38 innings in T20I cricket, and currently stands tall as the number one T20 batsman in the world.

Recently, the batsmen conversed with renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle and interestingly, sat down with the Indian to pick his Indo-Pak T20 XI, in a Cricbuzz chat show. Babar had himself and the prolific Rohit Sharma opening the batting, with Virat Kohli and Shoaib Malik occupying the No.3 and No.4 spots. At No.5, the 25-year-old opted for MS Dhoni, also handing the veteran Indian the gloves, while Hardik Pandya occupied the pace bowling all-rounders’ slot at No.6.

Pakistan’s Shadab Khan, who took his batting to a completely different level in the recently concluded PSL season, occupied the No.7 slot in Babar’s team. Interestingly, the newly-appointed Pakistan skipper opted to field a long tail, starting with Shaheen Shah Afridi at No.8. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Amir occupied the No.9 and No.10 spots as the pacers in the side, while India’s Kuldeep Yadav, who bowled a magic delivery to Babar in the World Cup to dismiss him, completes the XI. The team, interestingly, features 6 Indians and 5 Pakistanis.

Babar Azam’s Indo-Pak T20 XI:

Rohit Sharma, Babar Azam, Virat Kohli, Shoaib Malik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Amir, Kuldeep Yadav.

Picking the Indo-Pak combined T20 XI aside, the 25-year-old also spoke about Pakistan’s shortcomings against India in the World Cup, with the Men in Green having never beaten their Blue counterparts in the 50-over World Cup tournament. Azam admitted that Indo-Pak encounters are high-intensity games, but stated that no one can point a finger on what usually goes wrong. The Pakistan skipper further attested that the players go about Indo-Pak encounters like any other normal game.

“The whole world waits for this match. As you know, this game comes with a lot of pressure – in comparison to the other games, it’s a very big game. We do try to perform our best and it’s not like we feel the pressure more. We play it like any other normal game,” said the 25-year-old.

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