In the lead-up to Pakistan’s pivotal 2023 World Cup clash against South Africa, cricket commentator Aakash Chopra has candidly addressed the challenges that the Pakistani team is grappling with. While he acknowledges the limitations of Captain Babar Azam, Chopra emphasizes that Babar is not the sole cause of Pakistan’s lackluster performances in the tournament.

With a crucial match against South Africa scheduled at Chepauk in Chennai on Friday, October 27, Pakistan finds itself in a must-win situation after suffering defeats in their last three games. In a YouTube video analysis, Chopra expressed skepticism about Babar’s continued role as captain post-World Cup but underscored that the captain is just one of several concerns.

“If the game is played on a good pitch, and South Africa bats first and starts scoring, Pakistan might face some difficulties. Additionally, there’s a unique atmosphere in Pakistan. While there are reports from their board expressing support, it might imply otherwise,” he said.

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“Their statements suggest they might be getting ready to replace Babar Azam. His captaincy and form have been average, but he’s not the sole problem. The losses aren’t entirely just because of him; there are numerous other reasons at play,” he added.

Identifying Pakistan’s bowling as a significant concern, Chopra expressed doubt about their ability to recover and perform well.

“If South Africa wins the toss, they’ll bat first, and Pakistan will likely do the same. However, Pakistan’s bowling is quite ordinary. It’s uncertain how they’ll bounce back and improve their bowling performance,” he said.

“It’s unclear whether Shadab Khan and Usama Mir will play, and there’s uncertainty about including Mohammad Nawaz. Abrar Ahmed should have been on the team to add some mystery, but he’s not there. While Shaheen Shah Afridi took wickets in one match, he seems to lack that sharpness now,” he said.

In summary, Chopra believes it would be an upset if Pakistan beats South Africa. He noted the differing trajectories of the two teams and acknowledged the tournament’s trend of unexpected collapses and upsets.

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