‘Babar used to calm me down, but now as vice-captain, he gets angry,’ reveals Sarfaraz Ahmed
Vice-captain Babar Azam seems to be under pressure.
Updated - Oct 10, 2019 1:51 pm
After the hosts breeze past the inexperienced Sri Lankans 2-0 in the One-day Internationals, the succeeding T20I series was expected to be another one-sided affair. And, there were enough reasons for it. Firstly, Pakistan’s numero-uno spot in the T20I rankings coupled with Sri Lanka’s recent struggles in white-ball cricket. Secondly, the fact that the visitors fielding a whole host of youngsters as compared to Pakistan who was at their full-strength and thirdly Babar Azam.
But, as they say, unpredictability is what makes sports such a spectacle. And, Sri Lanka, despite all their issues, has emerged to be the biggest giant slayer this year. They strolled past the South Africans [2-0] in their own den before leaving England- the eventual World Champions- shocked courtsey a group-stage defeat; one that opened up the entire competition. But, perhaps they had left the biggest surprise in store for the No.1 ranked T20I side in the world: Pakistan.
The pressure of vice-captaincy beginning to show on Babar?
One of the many reasons for Pakistan’s defeat has been Babar Azam’s dwindling returns in the series. The No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world failed to lead his side from the front during the two run-chases he was confounded with. And, now the aftereffects of the additional responsibility of a vice-captain seem to be getting to him. In a candid chat with Wasim Akram, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed revealed that Babar loses his cool more often now; a stark contrast from the past where he used to calm Sarfaraz down.
“Babar has been recently announced vice-captain, so what used to happen was when I used to get a bit angry, Babar who stood alongside at slips used to calm me down, but since he has become the vice-captain himself, Babar tells me that he gets much angrier,” revealed Sarfaraz in a candid chat with Wasim Akram.
During the World Cup, Sarfaraz was heavily trolled for yawning during the Indo-Pak game at Old Trafford and his “overweight”. The Pakistani captain, who is looking much leaner now, said that he is avoiding junk food and is on a complete protein diet.
“It seems that I have almost stopped eating and am now following a strict protein diet alongside eating some vegetables as well,” said the skipper. When asked why Pakistan did not try out any new face in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, the skipper alluded that Sri Lanka- despite boasting of new faces- was an International side.
“So we cannot take them lightly, but we would try to give chance to the competent players,” he said. The Pakistan skipper has his hands full as he aims to get one back and end the series on a positive note and not suffer the ignominy of a series whitewash in front of the home crowd.