'Reach Virat Kohli and Steve Smith's level first' - Kamran Akmal reveals that he advised Babar Azam to not take captaincy so early

Babar Azam has come under criticism over his captaincy tactics in the 2022 Asia Cup final.

Kamran Akmal and Babar Azam
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Kamran Akmal and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Pakistan lost the 2022 Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka by 23 runs after a poor performance from their batting unit. Their innings collapsed for only 147 runs while chasing a 171-run target at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan smashed fifty in the final but star batters Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman struggled throughout the tournament.

Babar managed to score only 68 runs in six innings at a poor average of 11.33 and a strike rate of 107.93. He also lost the no.1 spot in the ICC T20 Batters chart to Rizwan during the tournament. He raised the expectations from the fans with three consecutive fifties against the Netherlands in the three-match ODI series last month.

But now Pakistan's captain is facing a lot of criticism from the fans for his individual performances in the Asia Cup and many are blaming him for his captaincy tactics in the final.

Those who were close to him must have advised him to tacrke up the captaincy: Kamran Akmal

The former Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal has agreed with Rashid Latif's criticism over Babar's decisions in the final. Earlier this week, Latif slammed Babar for now not utilizing Haris Rauf's fours overs when Pakistan had an advantage over Sri Lanka in the first half of the game. Akmal revealed that he had told Babar not to take captaincy duties so early in his career and advised him to reach the level of Virat Kohli and Steven Smith first.

"During a T20I in Faisalabad when Babar was walking out for the toss, I got to know that he is being made captain. That is when I told him... 'I don't think now is the right time for you to become captain. Give your best performances in the next 2-3 years. The batting line-up is depended on you.

"Reach Virat Kohli's level first, Steve Smith's level. By then, you would have scored 35-40 centuries and enjoy captaincy. The moment Sarfaraz leaves, you will be next in line. But now is the right time. I told him back in the day but it was his decision. Those who were close to him must have spoken to him and advised him to take up the captaincy," Kamran Akmal said in his latest YouTube video.