According to Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan cricket team, the turning point of the match vs New Zealand was when Shadab Khan failed to catch Mark Chapman at a crucial moment.
After Chapman’s miscued shot against Shaheen in the 14th over, the ball went towards Shadab, who was positioned at wide long-on. However, he ended up dropping the catch, which proved to be costly as Chapman continued to bat and eventually finished the innings unbeaten on 104 from 57 balls. This helped New Zealand win the fifth T20I and level the series 2-2.
“The dropped catch obviously cost us the game,” Babar Azam said this during the post match ceremony.
Despite the crucial drop catch, the Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed support for Shadab Khan and defended his all-rounder. Azam stated that he would continue to back Khan and believed that mistakes happen in cricket. He emphasized the importance of supporting players, especially during difficult times.
“Shadab has given a lot of performances in the past. If his performance isn’t good in one series, that doesn’t make any difference to us. We will back him and he will perform again,” the Pakistan skipper added.
Babar Azam also came to the defense of wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who narrowly missed out on his century by two runs and was criticized for not accelerating towards the end of his innings.
Azam said that Rizwan had played a crucial role in stabilizing the innings after an early collapse and that his contribution should not be overlooked. Azam further added that Rizwan had been performing consistently and had played many match-winning innings for Pakistan in recent times.
The upcoming cricket series between Pakistan and New Zealand will feature a five-match One Day International (ODI) series, which is scheduled to start on April 27, 2023, at Rawalpindi. Both teams will be looking to perform at their best in the series, which will be closely watched by cricket fans around the world with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in sight.