Gambhir believes Babar can become the best batter Pakistan has ever produced and winning the PSL as skipper wouldn't necessarily add value to his already impressive career
Wasim Akram has advised Babar Azam to steer clear of captaincy in league cricket, emphasizing the unnecessary stress it brings.
In a recent conversation with a local sports platform, Akram conveyed his advice to Babar Azam, emphasizing that as a prominent player, he should focus on playing, scoring runs, and enjoying the game.
“I had a given an idea to Babar Azam a couple of years ago that don’t do captaincy in league cricket. [You’re a] big player, take your money, play your game, get runs, go home, and then to the next event. Pakistan’s captaincy is alright, but the league brings extra stress without any reason,” Akram said.
Former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir echoed Akram's sentiments, highlighting the impact of captaincy stress on Azam during the World Cup and expressed optimism about seeing Azam's true abilities now that he has relinquished the captaincy.
“I think you’ll see the best of Babar Azam now, you’ll see a completely different Babar Azam because I had picked Babar Azam ahead of the World Cup. I told him that he’d be the batter of the tournament, but the captaincy pressure [let him down]," Gambhir said.
"When you do captaincy in the World Cup and the team doesn’t perform well, then you can imagine the pressure on the skipper. Now, you’ll see the actual Babar Azam, which no one has seen. I don’t know what are the records of Babar Azam, but you’ll see his actual ability from now on," Gambhir added.
Gambhir also highlighted that there is no need for the right-hand batter to prove anything and winning the Pakistan Super League (PSL) wouldn't necessarily add value to his already impressive career.
"Babar Azam won’t get anything by winning the PSL. Honestly, Babar Azam has a lot of quality, he can go out and become the best batter Pakistan has ever produced," Gambhir said.
The ex-Indian cricketer further added that Babar has a decade ahead of him without the added pressure of captaincy.
"And he’s what 27 or 28 (actually 29), he’s got another 10 years and now he’ll have 10 years because of no pressure of captaincy," he concluded.
On November 15th, Babar stepped down from captaincy in all formats following a meeting with Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee.