Today, new writer Kaukab Abid brings us a different perspective on the World T20 final. No player will be under greater scrutiny, not to mention pressure to perform, than Pakistan’s superstar captain…
The term ‘tragic hero’ has been used throughout history to describe a variety of characters. A tragic hero is typically a person of high status who falls from grace due to a tragic flaw. This flaw can be anything from hubris to greed to lust. The fall from grace often leads to the protagonist’s downfall, and sometimes even death. In many cases, the tragic hero’s actions are not entirely his own fault, but rather the result of bad luck or outside forces beyond his control. Nevertheless, the tragic hero ultimately bears responsibility for his own fate.
Shakespeare’s tragic heroes are some of the most famous examples of this type of character. Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear are all prime examples of tragic heroes who meet their demise as a result of their own flaws.
So, what makes Babar a tragic hero? Is it simply his captaincy? Is it his heroic batting? Or is it something more complex, like a combination of all of these things?
Babar is arguably the best batsman that has ever played for Pakistan. In the last two years, he has consistently been among the top-ranked batsmen across formats. Babar was also the top scorer in the last year’s T20 world cup. Despite consistent low scores in the group matches in this World Cup, there was never any doubt that he will soon find his form.
As a captain, Babar is a work in progress. In crucial situations, he seems to misread the game and the team has paid a heavy price for it on more occasions than one. Not using Nawaz in the Asia Cup final, and giving Nawaz the final over against India are two prime examples of blunders that cost Pakistan key games. He is yet to win a major tournament as a captain. The pressure is mounting on him and that is directly impacting his batting form, which Pakistan can ill afford.
However, his tragic flaw is not that he is an inept captain but it is his static mindset as a leader that has caused his downfall. This is why he has been making the same mistakes again and again. Everyone could see that Asif Ali, Khusdil Shah, and Haider Ali were a burden on the team, yet Babar kept on persisting with them. Consequently, Mohammad Haris got only a single game before he was eventually plugged into the side when it was in a desperate situation.
Babar Azam has been an outstanding batsman, but we can’t say the same about his captaincy. For Babar, a lot rides on this final. There have already been talks of Shadab replacing him as a captain after the World Cup. It might be good for Babar as a batsman, as it will free him up of many other responsibilities that come along with being a captain. With Rohit Sharma taking the captaincy responsibilities for India, Virat Kohli seems to enjoy his batting more.
This could all change if Pakistan wins.
This could possibly be the last chance for Babar, as a captain, to lead his side to world cup glory. However, he needs to change his approach and become a little more flexible in his thinking.
With some introspection, he can surely overcome his tragic flaw. All of Pakistan will be hoping that Babar Azam does not meet the same fate as a tragic hero i.e. suffering (loss in the final) or an untimely ending (to his captaincy).
There have been cricketers in the past, who have let the nation down because of their greed, jealousy, and arrogance; Babar has served the nation with honesty and integrity. Babar has already surpassed all expectations but this is one hurdle that he needs to get over to stake a claim to greatness.