Babar Azam has cricketing sense and with more experience as captain, he will definitely improve: Misbah-ul-Haq

Babar Azam has cricketing sense and with more experience as captain, he will definitely improve: Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq also added that the Pakistan middle-order needs to step up for the side to score big runs.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan beat South Africa 2-1 in the three-match ODI series in the land of the Proteas under the leadership of Babar Azam. Not only did Azam marshal his troops well, but he also led from the front with the willow and scored 228 runs in the ODI series at an average of 76.00.

And now, Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has opened up on Azam. Misbah opined that Pakistan’s wonderful performance against South Africa will allow Azam to get better as a captain. Adding that Azam has good cricketing sense, Misbah said that Azam will improve his strategic moves with experience.

Misbah further elaborated that a captain should lead from the front. The Head Coach also revealed that the way Azam counter-attacked against the likes of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada would have given him a lot of confidence.

“Though he doesn’t have much experience as captain, this performance will allow him to get better. The way he has worked on his game in white-ball cricket or even Tests shows he is a good learner. He has cricketing sense and with more experience as captain, he will definitely improve his strategic moves.

For a captain, it’s really important to lead from the front. He just goes in and controls the game. In the first ODI, South Africa did their best to attack him with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, but the way he counter-attacked gave self-belief and confidence (to him as a captain). All that will help him in decision-making and improve his overall ability,” said Misbah in a chat with ESPNCricinfo.

Misbah-ul-Haq opines that the Pakistan middle-order needs to step up

Misbah also added that the Pakistan middle-order needs to step up for the side to score big runs. The Head Coach stated that even a total of 320 is not a safe one in ODI cricket today, and the Pakistan middle-order needs to capitalize on the start provided by the top order. The 46-year-old concluded by stating that a side has to score 200 in T20Is and 350 in ODIs, as these are the demands of the game today.

“Things we see going forward is that in our middle and lower-middle order, we need consistent runs, as well as power, so that you can score big runs. These days, 325 isn’t a safe total, and we have seen that in the last two games when 320 felt less. So, 330 and 350 are just normal, (so) it’s necessary to have big-hitting ability in your middle and lower order.

The way the top order is setting the innings up, that needs to be capitalised on for a big finish. There is a simple and clear method in white-ball cricket, to put on 200 runs in T20s and 350 in ODIs, and that’s the demands of the time,” concluded Misbah.