Mushtaq Ahmed advises out-of-form Babar Azam to follow Virat Kohli's process to regain form
In a conversation with Cricket Pakistan, the former Pakistan spinner cited Kohli's journey as a blueprint for Babar to overcome his current struggles.
Former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed suggests that Babar Azam should consider taking a hiatus to rejuvenate and rediscover his peak batting form, drawing parallels with Virat Kohli's similar experience.
Kohli faced a challenging period between 2020 and 2022, where his average dipped below 40 across formats each season, managing only two centuries in 83 games during that phase. However, intermittent breaks post-IPL 2022 proved beneficial for the ex-Indian captain, leading to a resurgence in 2023. Kohli, at 35, concluded 2023 as the second-highest run-scorer, amassing over 2,000 runs at an impressive average of 66.06, including eight centuries in various formats.
In a conversation with Cricket Pakistan, Mushtaq Ahmed cited Kohli's journey as a blueprint for Babar to overcome his current struggles.
"Across the world, we provide coaching, and when we realize a player is mentally disturbed, we give them a break of 2 or 3 matches," Mushtaq said.
The Pakistan veteran further added, "When Virat Kohli was out of form, he took a break, and since then, he hasn't faced the same struggles. The management should have taken ownership and advised Babar to take a rest."
Babar Azam has been gone 16 innings without a century
Following a stellar first half of the 2023 season, Babar Azam faced a challenging period during the Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup. This downturn prompted the 29-year-old to step down from captaincy across all formats.
Despite his spectacular 151 against Nepal in the Asia Cup opener, Babar has experienced a drought of centuries, going through 16 innings without reaching the three-figure mark. Additionally, he managed to surpass the 50-run mark only four times, concluding 2023 with an overall average below 40 for the year.