Pakistan batsman Babar Azam is all set to be named the captain of the ODI team after having replaced wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain in the shortest format of the game. Sarfaraz has been dropped from Test and T20 squads in October by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Azhar Ali appointed as captain in the Tests whereas Babar Azam named the skipper of the T20 format.
At that time, the PCB didn’t name the ODI captain as Pakistan’s next ODI assignment will be a single match against Bangladesh on April 3 here. However, many raised questions over the replacement of Sarfaraz and also said it would not be easy to replace him as captain in ODI format. He led Pakistan to six wins last year including the World Cup league stage matches.
“Sarfaraz has also performed well as a batsman and keeper in a 50-overs format having played with a batting average of around 32 and kept well last year,” a critic said.
Sarfaraz successfully led Pakistan in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy title where they defeated arch-rivals India. Moreover, he took the side to the world number one ranking as well.
“There is no way the PCB or selectors can now justify not keeping Sarfaraz in the ODI team or replacing him with Babar Azam. It would be great injustice with a fine captain and a player,” former chief selector and head coach Mohsin Khan added.
Although he backed the idea of Sarfaraz’s replacement as captain in Test cricket but did not support the idea of dropping him as a player from the Test and T20 formats.
“There was pressure on Sarfaraz as captain for all three formats but he is still the ideal choice for the white ball formats,” Khan expressed.
Former Test batsman Ramiz Raja also supported the idea of appointing Babar Azam as the captain in all three formats as he has been in formidable and the perfect choice to be the leader in ODIs. On the other hand, the head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and the two captains have said that if Sarfaraz Ahmed performed well in domestic cricket, including the Pakistan Super League he will surely be back in the national team.