Wasim Akram, former Pakistan captain feels that the Pakistan Cricket Board might have to look for someone else as Test captain if the incumbent Azhar Ali fails to lead his team to victory in the Test series against England.
Azhar Ali has come under intense scrutiny after Pakistan squandered a seemingly match-winning position in the Old Trafford, ultimately losing the rubber by three wickets. Ali’s tactics of opening the field and not attacking the likes of Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler when they were new to the crease, attracted a lot of criticism from both fans as well as former Pakistani cricketers.
And, to make things even worse, his batting form is not helping his cause either. The former opener has undergone a consistent decline in the last two years. In 2018, Ali averaged a meager 30.41 with the bat, which dropped to 21.71 in 2019 and is now less than 20 this year. His overseas record has been even more dismal. The right-hander has registered eight single-digit scores [including three ducks] in his last 11 innings outside of Pakistan/UAE.
“If we win the remaining Test matches he should continue as captain. It depends on his performance. Obviously, if we don’t win and he doesn’t perform then Pakistan Cricket Board will have to look for someone else,” Wasim Akram was quoted as saying by Dawn.
‘It is easy to criticize in hindsight’- Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali lambasted his critics during the virtual press-conference, where he said that it is easy to criticize in hindsight but sometimes one should also appreciate if someone plays like the duo of Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes played in the second innings.
“It is easy to criticize with hindsight but we also need to acknowledge if someone posts a partnership like that. Every time you can’t blame the captaincy but I am here to take responsibility that we could not defend a total, as a team, which we should have,” Azhar Ali said during a virtual press-conference after the Test.
“When I bat, I am not thinking about the captaincy, whether or not I am out of form, and when I am captain, I do not think about my batting at all.” he added.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed took to social media to extend his support to the under-pressure Ali
”Bhayya stay strong, InshaAllah, we will bounce back Pakistan zindabad,” Sarfaraz Ahmed wrote on social media.
The second Test between England and Pakistan will kickstart at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from August 13.