"Not improved as a captain": Ex-PAK pacer tears down Babar Azam
Former Pakistani fast bowler Junaid Khan asserted that the performance of star batter Babar Azam as a captain had not shown any improvement, leading him to believe that the decision to replace him was justified. Babar resigned from the captaincy across all three formats after Pakistan's disappointing campaign in the 2023 World Cup.
Junaid illuminated the contrast by pointing out the progress made by former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed over time, particularly noting their triumph in the 2017 Champions Trophy. Despite having four years of captaincy under his belt, Babar failed to exhibit any noticeable improvement.
In a discussion on Nadir Shah's podcast, Junaid Khan expressed his opinions on Babar Azam and commended Sarfaraz Ahmed for guiding the team to victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy. He underscored Pakistan's ascent to the top of the rankings during Sarfaraz's captaincy, contrasting it with Babar's stint where victories came against lower-ranked teams.
Pakistan Cricket has undergone significant changes after their poor World Cup campaign
"Babar had not improved as a captain. If you see Saifi bhai (Sarfaraz Khan), he kept improving day by day. We won the Champions Trophy under his leadership, became World No.1 in the T20Is. People say we became ODI No.1 team under Babar’s captaincy. But we became No.1 by playing against weak teams. Babar is not a quick learner. He is a world-class batter but his captaincy was not up to the mark."
Junaid Khan also shed light on exemplary captains like Pat Cummins and Virat Kohli, who led by example with unwavering passion. He expressed disappointment that Babar Azam did not exhibit the same level of fervor in his leadership.
Following Pakistan's dismal performance in the ODI World Cup, significant changes unfolded in Pakistan Cricket. While Babar Azam relinquished the captaincy, Shan Masood was appointed as the Test captain, Shaheen Afridi as the T20I skipper and Wahab Riaz assumed the role of the new chief selector