Babar should have been groomed before handing over important responsibility: Miandad

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):Former legend Javed Miandad believes that before handing over the Twenty20 reins to Babar Azam, it would have been better for Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to groom the Lahore-born cricketer before handing over an important responsibility.

“Currently Babar was the No.1 ranked batsman in T20s. I fear his own performance may go down as the youngster lacked experience to lead the national side at such a higher level,” he told APP.

Babar has been named the T20 captain until next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia while Azhar Ali was appointed the captain for Pakistan’s World Test Championship matches in the 2019-20 season.
Babar had captained Pakistan in the ICC Under19 Cricket World Cup 2012. He was also the vice-captain in the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka and was presently captaining Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup.

“Sarfraz should have been continued as captain for the series against Australia next month while Babar should have been assigned as his deputy,” he said.

Pakistan would play Australia in two Tests in Brisbane (November 21 to 25) and Adelaide (November 29 to December 3). Pakistan team was also scheduled to play three T20s against Australia (November 3, 5 and 8).

Miandad cited the example of former English captain Mike Brearley saying Brearley, who took over the captaincy in 1977, was not selected for the side until the age of 34 in 1976.

“His record in Test cricket as a batsman was modest (he averaged 22.88 in 66 Test innings, without a century), but he was an outstanding captain. He was also a fine slip catcher, usually at first slip,” Miandad said.

“Though Sarfraz’s performance had gone down as a batsman but he was an excellent wicketkeeper and the board should have given him some time to recover,” he said.

Miandad, who had scored 8,832 runs in 124 Tests, said PCB should rope in former cricketers like Wasim Akram, Shoaib Muhammad and Sadiq Muhammad to improve the game.

“I think the Board has overburdened Misbah by assigning him the dual responsibilities of head coach of all formats and chief selector. The board needs to be a bit realistic and think out of the box by appointing a specialized batting coach for the shorter format,” he said and added Faisal Iqbal was the best choice for batting coach.

Miandad also asked PCB to establish a variety of pitches at different stadiums around the country, to prepare players for the T20 World Cup.
“Pitches should provide equal opportunities to batters and bowlers and should allow all disciplines in the game to flourish,” he said.

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