Babar Azam’s stint as Pakistan ODI skipper hasn’t got off to a promising start. The Pakistan stalwart, who took over the leadership reigns from Imad Wasim in 2020, has won four and lost as many games, including a 3-0 drubbing against England, in his first nine matches at the helm. Azam is the country’s most successful batsman but Pakistan’s below-par performance as a team has raised questions about his leadership skills. Many believe that leading Pakistan in all three formats is a bit too much to ask from Babar.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif believes that Pakistan’s performance on the West Indies tour will decide the fate of Babar Azam as Pakistan skipper.
“Babar Azam has the team’s support but not the support as far as performances are concerned in this [England ODI] series. They won their previous few series. Here they have given very bad performances but we will still give margin to Babar. This T20 series and the upcoming tour of the West Indies is crucial for Babar’s captaincy,” said Latif on the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel.
He added: “I think if it goes south, Babar might have to relinquish the captaincy after the West Indies series in order to preserve his own performances. I think he might be asked to step down or he could take the decision himself if they fail miserably in the series against West Indies”.
There have been too many chops and changes in the Pakistan side since the sacking of former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed who led the team between 2015 and 2019. Post the 2019 World Cup, Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim were tried at the helm before the reigns were handed to Azam.
Having lost the ODI series, Pakistan bounced back and thrashed England by 31 runs in the first T20I. The second T20I of the three match series will be played on July 18.