Sarfaraz Ahmed has been removed as Pakistan captain from test cricket as well as the T20s. The wicketkeeper-batsman had been captaining the national side in all formats of the game for the last three years.
The test captaincy of Pakistan has been given to Azhar Ali, while the T20 captaincy has been handed over to Babar Azam who was only recently named Sarfaraz’s deputy in the white ball formats. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to take a call regarding the new captain of the ODI side.
While Babar hasn’t captained Pakistan in any international match yet, Azhar Ali has been Pakistan’s ODI captain in the past and has also been the vice-captain of the test side.
Pakistan’s performance has been inconsistent in all formats since Sarfaraz took over the captaincy. Barring the Champions Trophy where Pakistan went on a dramatic run and punched above their weight to beat much stronger teams on their way to the title, they have played below-par cricket for most periods.
Even recently in the T20 series against a second-string Sri Lankan team, Pakistan got whitewashed 3-0 playing at home. Sarfaraz’s captaincy, as well as his place in the T20 XI of Pakistan, came under the microscope after that series. Many cricket pundits were of the view that when Sarfaraz doesn’t justify his place in the XI, how can he be the captain of the team?
Pakistan had to suffer a whitewash in the test series in South Africa as well earlier this year. Sarfaraz’s own performance in that series wasn’t overwhelming.
Now that Sarfaraz has been removed from captaincy, there is no guarantee that he will find a place in the test and the T20 squads of Pakistan. Mohammed Rizwan has already been making the headlines in the domestic circuit of Pakistan and it is very likely that the selectors prefer him over Sarafarz for test cricket.