Pakistan failed to make the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup narrowly as they lost out to New Zealand in terms of net run-rate despite finishing on same points. They had a poor start to their campaign by winning only one of their first five games and even though they did their best to win four consecutive games after losing to India, it was yet not enough to take them to the last four. The team’s debacle has come under scrutiny and talks are also on to get a new leader in the ODIs to release some pressure off the back of an over-burdened Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Pakistan lost three consecutive series to South Africa, Australia and England before going into the World Cup. The team management was under some intense pressure because of the Men in Green’s performance on the ground and with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq set to step down and head coach Mickey Arthur asked to re-apply for the position, one would not be surprised if the captain also changes.
Babar Azam top-scored for Pakistan in World Cup 2019
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad is of the opinion that Babar Azam could be the perfect candidate to replace Sarfaraz as the ODI skipper. Babar was Pakistan’s best batsman in the World Cup with 474 runs (average 67 plus) that included a match-winning century against New Zealand and three half-centuries. He had got some good starts but could not go on to convert those into big knocks, something that left the former cricketers aghast.
Although names of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez have also come up as likely replacement for Sarfaraz in the 50-over format, Miandad feels it should be someone who hasn’t already reached his prime. Azam is Pakistan’s best batsman at the moment and is expected to go on to serve the country for a long time.
“The PCB must set their priorities straight on how to improve and must decide whether they want to go back or move forward,” the 62-year-old Miandad, who has played in record six World Cups and was a member of the title-winning squad of 1992, was quoted as saying by the Business Recorder. “We need a fresh start with a new face to lead the team.”
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