Reports: Babar Azam all set to become Pakistan's new ODI captain

Babar is likely to lead Pakistan against Bangladesh and begin his tenure as captain of the ODI team on home soil.

Babar Azam
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Babar Azam. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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After Pakistan’s horror show in the T20I series at home against Sri Lanka, PCB announced Babar Azam as their new T20 skipper and Azhar Ali as Test skipper. The PCB however, did not replace Sarfaraz Ahmed as the ODI captain, as Pakistan is only going to play a one-off ODI against Bangladesh on April 3.

It is being speculated that Babar Azam will be replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed as the new Pakistan skipper. Babar is likely to lead Pakistan against Bangladesh and begin his tenure as captain of the ODI team on home soil.

Sarfaraz Ahmed was dropped from the side and stripped from captaincy duties after the wicketkeeper-batsman underperformed with the bat and was unable to lead from the front. Sarfaraz captained Pakistan in all the formats consistently, but following Pakistan’s outing from the World Cup without making the semi-finals in England, his captaincy was heavily criticized by former players of Pakistan on various platforms.

The 25-year-old Babar Azam has always been looked as a future captain and now he may continuously lead Pakistan in white-ball cricket. Babar however, has big shoes to fill as under the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed Pakistan went on to become the number one ranked side in T20 cricket. Pakistan also won the champions trophy in 2017 in England when they defeated India, in a one-sided contest under the leadership of Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz Ahmed should play shorter formats: Mohsin Khan

Former chief selector and Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan believes that the decision to replace Sarfaraz as the ODI captain may backfire Pakistan. He stated as quoted by The Week, “There is no way that the PCB or selectors can justify not keeping Sarfaraz in the ODI team, or replacing him with Babar Azam. It would be great injustice with a fine captain and leader”.

Mohsin Khan accepted the fact that it was justified to replace Sarfaraz as the Test match captain, but he should never have been dropped as a player from the ODI and T20 team. “There was pressure on Sarfaraz as captain for all three formats, but he is still the ideal choice in the shorter formats,” Khan said.

Former Pakistan player and commentator Ramiz Raja backed Babar Azam to lead Pakistan in all three formats. Ramiz Raja believes that Babar Azam, being one of the top batsmen in the world, is well suited and appears to be the logical choice to become the captain of Pakistan in ODIs too.