Monday, December 4

‘Making him captain of T20 team was a tester’ – Misbah-ul-Haq believes Babar Azam is best suited to lead Pakistan

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Months after his appointment as the T20I skipper, Pakistan’s batting stalwart Babar Azam was also assigned the ODI captaincy in the previous month. Babar, since breaking into the national side, has paved his way to becoming a world-class batsman. He is currently regarded as one of the best batsmen across the globe, thanks to his excellent batting skills.

Babar averages a staggering 54.18 in the ODIs after playing 74 matches and he has amassed 3359 runs so far with 11 centuries and 15 fifties. His consistency in the shorter format is second to none as the right-hander has gathered 1471 runs at an average of 50.72, including 13 half-centuries.

Upon Babar’s appointment as the ODI skipper of the national side, many veterans had expressed their concern about the captaincy pressure which will eventually mount on the 25-year-old. However, Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has backed Babar to succeed as the skipper of the limited-overs side. Being the best batsman in the team will help Babar in leading the side by example, according to Misbah.

Babar would lead the team by example: Misbah-ul-Haq

“The way I look at it, being a top batsman he is best suited to lead the team by example and this would make it easier for him to also take strong decisions and for the team to follow him,” said Misbah as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.

Misbah also opined that the pressure of captaincy won’t affect Babar’s run-scoring flow. According to Misbah, Babar’s appointment as the T20I skipper last year was a tester as the board wanted to see how the prolific batsman responds to the challenge. Babar eventually lived up to the expectations and handled the pressure well.

“Making Babar captain of the T20 team last year was a tester really. We wanted to see how he will respond to the challenge and how it will affect his batting,” said Misbah.

“But all of us agreed that he handled the pressure well and if anything the responsibility of being captain only made him show more responsibility as a batsman,” he added.

Recently, former Zimbabwe cricketer Grant Flower had also cautioned Babar about the pressure which will come along with the captaincy of Pakistan. Considering the politics in Pakistan cricket and the reaction of fans, Babar needs to be cautious while making his decisions, according to Flower.

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