Babar Azam, the No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world and the current flavor of world cricket, was recently given the responsibility of leading the Pakistani One-day International team.
Leading a Pakistan team brings with itself a lot of pressure and scrutiny but head coach and chief selector Misbah Ul Haq believes that Babar is ideally suited for the job and his batting will not suffer, as was the case when he was made the captain of the T20I team last October.
“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. 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.” Misbah Ul Haq was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Misbah Ul Haq confident that Babar Azam is up and ready for the challenge
Misbah was countering the reservations that Grant Flower, former Zimbabwe batsman and Pakistan batting coach, had expressed recently regarding Babar’s ability to handle such a high-pressure job, given the fact that there is so much of politics in Pakistan cricket.
“He’s got a good cricketing brain but there’s a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public. If you start losing, it’s one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly” Grant Flower was quoted as saying by Stats Perform News.
“We’ve seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better than the world is his oyster. Time will tell,” Flower added.
Misbah doesn’t agree with Flower as he thinks that Babar is ready for the challenge and he should thrive in both captaincy as well as being team’s top-batsman.
“That is why we decided to also give him the responsibility of leading the ODI team. I think he is ready for the challenge and he should thrive as the team’s top batsman as well. The way I look at it, being a top batsman, 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.” he added.