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Gary Kirsten to help Babar Azam play his ‘natural game’

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Pakistan’s white-ball head coach, Gary Kirsten, has expressed his aim to support national team’s white-ball captain, Babar Azam, in reaching his full potential as a batter.

During an interview with TalkSport Cricket, former South African cricketer Kirsten praised Azam’s recent batting performance but suggested that he needs to play his natural game more often.

“I have been in touch with Babar. He has done remarkably well as a cricketer and sort of carries a lot of the weight of that team on his shoulders,” said Kirsten.

He also opened up about his plan as head coach to help Azam play his natural game.

“What we would try to do as a coaching staff is to lift that a little bit and to realize he’s just one of a whole group of players and then he can just free himself up to play with his natural talent.

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“We certainly saw that in the last game against Ireland and I think he played an outstanding inning and hopefully we see kind of a lot more of that Babar Azam rather than the one that feels that he has to be contributing all the time to a team.

Kirsten emphasized that T20 cricket demands more than one match winner in a team. He stated that he and his coaching staff are committed to establishing a team dynamic where multiple players can step up and deliver match-winning performances on any day.

“That’s not fair on any player but I think that we can unlock that and feel like there’s a big group of guys that can make match-winning contributions, especially in T20 cricket, that will take a lot of pressure off him and I think he’s happy to be back as a captain, so I am looking to working in that relationship with captain and coach.”

Kirsten is set to join Pakistan team on May 19 in Leeds, where the Green Shirts will play the first of the four-match T20I series against England on May 22.

READ: India’s Sunil Chhetri announces retirement from international football

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