The 25-year-old used to mostly bat at number six in the longest format under the previous head coach Mickey Arthur
Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali has shifted the blame towards the previous Men in Green’s management for playing middle-order batsman Babar Azam lower down the batting order in Test cricket.
Babar used to mostly bat at number six in the longest format under the previous head coach Mickey Arthur.
However, the new team management under head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq decided to play the middle-order batsman at number five in the first Test against Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane.
While speaking in a podcast released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Azhar said that they are planning to eventually promote the middle-order batsman up the batting order.
“The previous management had assigned him a lower number in the batting order so that he got started [in the longest format] but no one had any doubts in his ability," said Azhar. "But now we are thinking to promote him up the order gradually. We all know how good he is but we also need to keep him at a position where he keeps on scoring."
The Pakistan team management had come under fire by former Australia legend Ian Chappell for playing their premier batsman Babar Azam at number five.
"I think he's a very good player. But Pakistan have got to make much better use of him by getting him further up the order," said Chappell. "Four is the minimum. He should have batted at four in the match and I'd like to see him put in at three, but certainly no lower than four.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had also weighed in on the ideal batting position for the 25-year-old in Test cricket.
"PM Imran Khan messaged me to wish all the best to Babar Azam for the way he batted. He also mentioned that in his cricketing opinion Babar is such a good batsman, with great technique that he should bat at number four eventually," Khan was quoted as saying by legendary Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram.