Babar Azam praises Haider Ali, defends style of captaincy

Pakistan limited-overs captain believes there is no harm in taking advice from seniors

Babar Azam praises Haider Ali, defends style of captaincy PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Babar Azam has heaped praise on young batsman Haider Ali, after his fifty on debut in the third Twenty20 International (T20I) against England on Tuesday.

Haider came in at 2-1 after opener Fakhar Zaman’s departure and struck a magnificent 28-ball fifty featuring five fours and two sixes. Along with Hafeez’s unbeaten 86, Pakistan registered their first victory in 66 days of being in a bio-secure bubble in England.

"Haider Ali was outstanding. He did well in the Under 19 World Cup too and he’s a great talent who did well in PSL too. We gave him a chance and he showed us how good he is today," said Azam after the match.  

Despite criticism over his style of captaincy, Azam believes that taking advice from the senior players in the side is the right thing to do.

“I do take suggestions from senior players and there is no harm in that. Sometimes I go to them asking for suggestions and sometimes they come to me which is natural. But all the decisions I take on the field are mine," he said.

“You always need a blend of seniors and juniors. You just can’t drop them. Whenever the team is in a pressure situation, it is always helped and guided by all the experienced seniors in the squad,” he added.

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Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez also praised Haider’s composure after the pair combined to set up Pakistan's five-run victory over England.

"He was good under pressure and just expressed himself," said player of the series Hafeez of Haider in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"I was just trying to back him every time, tell him 'you are playing well, continue like that,'" he added. "It is great to see youngsters coming from our system and performing well."