Pakistan’s pace legend and former captain Wasim Akram has backed white-ball skipper Babar Azam to also take over Test captaincy from the tour of New Zealand and urged him to be more assertive.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to announce a new Test captain on November 11 to replace Azhar Ali, who will however remain a part of the 35-member jumbo squad for the New Zealand tour, where the national team will play two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
“You ask me as a former player, yes, I back Babar to become Test captain because he is our future and he can continue for a long time,” Akram said.
“If the PCB appoints him they should for a proper time so that at least there is no confusion as to who is in charge in the dressing room.”
One of the game’s greatest fast bowlers, Akram has also led the national team during his glorious international career, which included a World Cup triumph and plenty of individual accolades.
“I back Babar because I don’t want to see those days when I was playing and there were around four to five captains in our dressing room.
“He is our best player and people who say that making him Test captain will affect his batting, don’t buy that because he is a batsman and it is his job to score runs.
“Aren’t Virat Kohli or Kane Williamson also captains and top batsmen,” the former fast bowling great asked.
Akram said that the experiment to make Misbah-ul-Haq head coach and chief selector has not worked as Pakistan cricket has not seen any improvement in recent times.
“At times I get the feeling they are still stuck in the 90s mindset. I get the feeling, at times, some are only playing for their runs. This doesn’t work anymore and you just need to look at other teams to realise this.”
He said Pakistan cricket badly needed consistency in selection and continuity in captaincy.
He also advised Babar to take more control as captain and implement his decisions.
“He has to get rid of this feeling in the social media that it is Misbah who is taking all the decisions behind the scenes.