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Shoaib Akhtar wants Haris Sohail as Pakistan limited-over captain; Babar Azam as Test skipper

It seems Shoaib Akhtar is still not convinced with Sarfaraz’s captaincy and wants him no more at the helm.

Haris Sohail Australia vs Pakistan
Haris Sohail. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Pakistan failed to make the semi-finals of the 2019 cricket World Cup in England recently and the debacle has left the country’s fans and former players disappointed. Led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Men in Green were off to a disastrous start by losing to a weak West Indies by 7 wickets. They could manage to win only one of their first five games before coming back strongly to win the last four.

But though they could finish on same points as with New Zealand, the Black Caps still made it because of a superior net run-rate. The failure triggered a repercussion and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has already quit his post. Head coach Mickey Arthur and even captain Sarfaraz have come under the scanner. Even, there have been talks to appoint horses for courses, i.e., different captains for different formats.

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Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar seems to have bought the idea well. He said he would want to see Haris Sohail taking over the reins of captaincy in ODIs and T20Is while backing Babar Azam as Pakistan’s Test skipper. None of these two have any experience in captaining Pakistan so far.

Shoaib blasted Sarfaraz Ahmed during World Cup

Akhtar had taken a strong dig at Sarfaraz Ahmed during the World Cup, particularly after his country lost to arch-rivals India at Old Trafford on June 16. Akhtar had not only called the wicketkeeper-batsman “unfit” but even “brainless” after the latter had won the toss in the match against India and decided to field first. Pakistan conceded over 300 runs in the game and then lost the rain-interrupted encounter by 89 runs. Sarfaraz and his team had come under massive backlash after that loss and did their best to turn things around.

However, it seems Akhtar is still not convinced with Sarfaraz’s captaincy and wants him no more at the helm. Sarfaraz has led Pakistan in 13 Tests, winning 4 and losing eight; 35 ODIs, winning 21 and losing 13 and 33 T20Is, winning 29 and losing four.

His highest point in captaincy came in 2017 when Pakistan won the Champions Trophy beating India in the final. The 30-year-old Sohail, who had not got much chance in the World Cup till hitting a match-winning 89 against South Africa, has played in only 39 ODIs and 10 T20Is since 2013.

Azam, 24, on the other hand, is by far Pakistan’s best batsman at the moment and did well in the World Cup with a century and quite a few fifties. However, inexperience could still be an impediment on the way of him bagging the Test captaincy since he has played in just 10 matches so far.

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