On the back of his consistent performance, Babar Azam succeeded Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain of Pakistan national team in the limited-overs format, however, former Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif are of the belief that the 25-year-old is not prepared for the leadership role.
Earlier this month, Babar Azam was named Pakistan skipper for ODIs. After being assigned the new captaincy role, Babar Azam said that he wants to emulate former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan in the ODIs.
Babar Azam also took part in his first virtual press conference after being appointed the ODI captain, however, his comments during the media address left Akhtar and Latif unimpressed.
During the press conference Babar Azam responded to former Pakistan cricketer Tanvir Ahmed’s remark where he suggested the young batsman to improve his English speaking skills.
“I’m a cricketer, my job is to play cricket. I am not a ‘gora,’ who knows English completely. Yes, I am working on it, but you learn these things over a period of time, you can’t just suddenly learn it,” Babar Azam said after taking up ODI captaincy.
An unimpressed Shoaib Akhtar suggested that Babar Azam wants to be like Imran Khan but in order to attain that level he would be required to sharpen up his personality and communication skills.
“Babar Azam wants to be a captain like Imran Khan but this does not mean that it will only be related to playing cricket. He needs to take a leaf out of PM Imran’s book with regards to personality as well. Please don’t speak about things which we already know from the past 10 years. We won’t buy this argument. Babar has to sharpen up his communication skills, his personality, ability to lead from the front, fitness level etc. I think he has a lot to prove,” Akhtar said in a YouTube show WAJI’s Sports.
Latif, on the other hand, said Babar Azam’s mental approach was not up to the mark.
“When the captain is sitting in a press conference, he gives insight about his vision but this was clearly lacking,” Latif was quoted as saying by cricket Pakistan.
“Our captain is giving headlines about the language barrier and things we already know, like comparison with Virat Kohli. Babar should have made a strong statement rather than just following the script given to him. You have already showcased that your mental attitude and approach is not up to the mark,” Latif said.