Babar Azam was made the T20I skipper in late 2019 before he was announced as the full-time captain a year later, in late 2020, due to his staggering success and consistency across formats.
While Babar is still at his early days as full-time skipper of the Men in Green, the youngster has shown that added responsibility hasn’t deterred his batting much whereas he seems to have recognised his core group of players. However, veteran keeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes he still has lots to learn and cited examples of former skippers, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, to help in his rise.
“Babar Azam is improving as a captain with passing time. Although, he needs to bring improvement in his selection policy. Inzi [Inzamamul Haq] and Younis [Khan] bhai were very strict in this matter. They valued domestic experience over short-cut selections. Babar needs to understand that this will affect team performance in the future,” said Akmal as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“The situation will be clear after the tour of England. Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz should be included in the side. Amir has four to five years of cricket left in him, while Riaz can play for another two or three years. Experience is very important. Pakistan needs mature bowlers bearing in mind the flat nature of pitches in India.
Luckily, the teams Pakistan has played against in the past seven or eight months have lacked their top players but I’m sure the coach, selectors, and Babar know where their team stands when they will come up against the likes of India, England Australia. I don’t think they want to admit that this but things will become clear going forward,” the 39-year-old Kamran further opined
Kamran also made an interesting point as to why youngsters shouldn’t be hurried into the national selection. He said, “Players need to be selected based on domestic experience. Look at the examples of Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Fawad Alam, and Imamul Haq, they have all been selected on consistent domestic performance which is now being translated in international cricket. I don’t know why the selectors are in a hurry to give young players chances. Maybe they think these players will leave Pakistan if not selected.”
Currently, Pakistan have done well in 2021 so far with ODI and T20I series wins in South Africa, followed by a closely-fought T20I series triumph versus Zimbabwe in their own backyard.