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Babar Azam's future as ODI captain is uncertain, might step down: Latif

The 52-year-old believed that he might be asked to take the decision or decide to focus on his batting himself

Babar Azam's future as ODI captain is uncertain, might step down: Latif PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan’s former wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif, in an interview with Cricket Pakistan, stated that skipper Babar Azam might consider dropping the leadership role, in one of the formats, if his side fails in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) series against England and the upcoming tour of West Indies. 

The 52-year-old believed that he might be asked to take the decision or decide to focus on his batting himself if the situation goes south in the near future. The former captain also added that Babar might consider stepping down as the One-day Internationals (ODI) captain.  

“Babar has the team support but not the support as far as performances are concerned in this series. They won their previous few series. Here [in England] they have given very bad performances but we will still give margin to Babar. This T20 series and the upcoming tour of West Indies is very crucial for Babar’s captaincy. I think if it goes south, Babar might have to relinquish captaincy after the West Indies series in order to preserve his own performances. I think he might be asked to or take the decision himself if they fail miserably in the series against West Indies,” Latif said. 

“He [Babar Azam] is ok as the T20 captain and even in Tests. The main problem is in the ODI format. We have to fix that. I think in the ODI format they should try someone like Hasan Ali. Someone with a bit of aggression should captain in the ODIs,” he added.

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The former wicketkeeper-batsman believed that the initial decision to remove wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed from captaincy was a wrong move while criticising Pakistan’s approach to announcing its captains. 

“The decision to remove Sarfaraz [Ahmed] from captaincy was wrong. Then they brought in Azhar Ali and then removed him as captain and that was also wrong. Then they couldn’t find any other captain because no one else has been a consistent performer. Now it is just Hasan and they will not make him captain. Pakistan has only one performer. We usually give our performer the leadership role. It is not like our time when the captain was being changed every couple of months. You sometimes have to waste one or two years inorder to make a captain,” he said. 

“In our country, captaincy is taught after you come into the national side. The philosophy that they will learn on the job; that is not how it works. Your captain has to be a natural leader. A good leader is a good captain. They shouldn't combine the two like a person having captaincy but not having the leadership skills. This is a big factor in why Pakistan has not had a lot of good captains,” he concluded.