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How can Misbah mentor Babar when he himself was a defensive captain: Sohail

Former cricketer advised the head coach-cum-chief selector to ensure that Babar fully backs the youngsters

PHOTO: PCB

Former opener Aamir Sohail has questioned the ability of Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq to mentor the Men in Green’s limited overs captain Babar Azam as a leader, since the former was himself criticised for being a defensive captain.

In his latest blog for Pakpassion.net, the former cricketer advised Misbah to ensure that Babar fully backs the youngsters and provides them proper opportunities in the national side.

“If Babar has been identified as Pakistan’s captain in at least two formats of the game, then it’s incumbent upon the PCB to help him become the best captain he can be. This can be achieved by identifying any weaknesses in his leadership qualities and by good mentoring,” said Sohail.

“But if Misbah is to be Babar’s mentor, then we have a problem because he was himself criticised for being a defensive captain. The onus is on Misbah to be honest about his own deficiencies as a captain and to make sure that Babar does not make the same mistakes he made, especially when it comes to making sure that the younger players are given good chances to ensure a brighter future for Pakistan cricket,” he added.

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The 53-year-old also believes the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has realised their mistake of entrusting Misbah with too many roles. As a result, they have appointed Younis Khan as the batting coach for England tour.

“The fact is that Misbahul Haq for reasons best known to the PCB, was given the roles of head coach and chief selector, and he was also looking after the position of batting coach. Many of us commented then that this was not a good idea as batsmen who are struggling in some aspect of their batting are unlikely to share their problems with the batting coach, who also happens to be the chief selector and the head coach as well,” he said. “In that context, Younis Khan’s appointment, whilst recognising his experience, is proof that the PCB are accepting the fact that they made the wrong decision by entrusting Misbah with so many roles. What the PCB are implying is that Misbah is not a good enough batting coach which is why they had to bring in someone like Younis Khan into the picture as a batting consultant.”

Sohail is confident of a good showing by the Men in Green in England, provided they post 300 plus totals consistently on the scoreboard.

“I do believe that Pakistan can compete really well in the series against England, but it will depend upon the state of pitches and how well they prepare. In terms of bowling strength, the Pakistan bowling attack is pretty strong with Shaheen Shah Afridi looking most likely to be the top performer in the Test series. The only issue, as always, will be with our batting but if they can put up scores of 300+ then they will give their team a very good chance of dominating the home team,” he said.

Pakistan is scheduled to take on England in three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), which will be played in August-September.