Sarfraz must do more as captain: Waqar Younis

Former coach believes wicketkeeper-batsman needs to lift his game in five-day format

Sarfraz must do more as captain: Waqar Younis Photo: AFP

Former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis has asked captain Sarfraz Ahmed to lift his game in the longest format of the game.

Sarfraz had a poor tour of Ireland and England, where in four innings he failed to score a single half-century for the team.

Waqar, while talking to, said that the 31-year-old will need to step up if he is to lead the team in all formats.

“We don't really have any choice at the moment [when it comes to captaincy] but he has to lift his game, particularly in Test cricket,” said Waqar. “If you are looking to play a young team with a couple of all-rounders, then Sarfaraz needs to lift his game batting at number six. He needs to take more responsibility and improve his batting. He is fine in the limited-overs formats but his performances with the bat have definitely dipped in Test cricket.”

Despite the criticism on his batting, Waqar believes that Sarfraz is the right man to lead Pakistan. “I am sure he [Sarfraz] will battle it out,” he said. “As far as captaincy in all three formats is concerned I would stick with him, but there is no harm in keeping your eyes open in terms of future replacements.”

Waqar also went on to praise Mohammad Abbas, who just has been a revelation for Pakistan since making his debut against the West Indies last year, and believes that the pacer has all it takes to make it to the top.

“I think he will succeed in different conditions] because other bowlers have survived at that pace at this level and if you are smart enough and have the skills, then you will be fine,” he said. “He played in the West Indies not so long ago, I was there and saw him bowl and initially I thought he might struggle on those sort of pitches but he didn't. He picked up wickets and he was very useful with both the new ball and the old ball and was reversing it as well. I don't see anything wrong with his pace, he bowls at a decent pace and he bowls with very good control of both line and length. Also, the areas that he bowls in are perfect for international cricket.”

Talking about the form of left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, Waqar believes the 26-year-old has been ‘unlucky’ since his return to the international cricket.

“I don't think there is anything to worry about,” said Waqar. “There is some wear and tear on him as he was playing international cricket from such a young age. It's not easy to come back after being out of the game for five years. You can't expect an 18-year-old kid to be out of the game for five years and then come back and be the same bowler and do the same things he was doing before his ban. The game has moved on also, it's more fast-paced and there is more T20 cricket being played around the world. But he's a fighter. I was always supporting him for his comeback to cricket as I feel that everyone makes mistakes in life.”

He added: “At the moment, I think he's bowling the best he has ever bowled during his career. He's working hard on his game and he's been a bit unlucky that he has not always got the results that his bowling has deserved.”