Shahid Afridi slams Babar Azam's captaincy
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is unimpressed with current skipper Babar Azam's leadership during the team's painstaking 2-0 Test series loss at home against England.
With Pakistan facing a disappointing loss in Multan on the back of a hammering in Rawalpindi, Afridi put the scanner on the man at the helm of affairs and his decision-making.
Afridi even alleged Babar to be taking advise from outsiders and letting their word influence his choices above those within the squad. He accused the modern-day giant of not keeping the experienced heads in the team involved, instead taking others' voices to heart.
Speaking on Pakistan-based 'Samaa TV', the ex spin allrounder said while Babar Azam's performances haven't been bad, he believes, consecutive defeats and the overall display by the hosts against an England side in transition should certainly bring his captaincy in the spotlight.
Afridi questions Babar's leadership
"Leadership is all about uniting everyone. It means that you should discuss your plans with seniors. When you start taking advice from outsiders and not involve seniors, issues come," Afridi said, indirectly suggesting Babar Azam isn't keeping the squad together and is excessively open to hearing outside opinions.
"We have also witnessed such things in our time. If we don’t value our players, the world will also not value them. No doubt, Babar Azam is the backbone of this team. His performance is not too bad in the series."
"He doesn’t play table tennis or squash to triumph his team on his own)? We can’t expect enough from an individual unless the XI performs. He is the captain with a lot of responsibilities. He is our hero and he’ll stay a hero," he added.
Babar failed in the second innings of either Test match but knocks of 136 in Rawalpindi and 75 in Multan in the first essays only reinforced his status as the team's batting "hero". That, however, has not proven balm to the Pakistani aches as they reel from a disappointing 2-0 series loss ahead of the final Test in Karachi, starting Saturday (December 21).
Come the last Test, Afridi opined, Pakistan should look to make a change in their combination and bring in former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed in the line-up alongside Shan Masood to bolster their batting resources. Afridi believes the time has come to leave Mohammad Rizwan and bring back Sarfaraz in the side.
"As a batting coach, it’s Yusuf’s domain. Rizwan shouldn’t be dropped, but rested. You’ve already lost the Test series. The third Test is in Karachi. I think Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shan Masood should get opportunities," he said.