Bold or Rigid – A critical check on Babar Azam’s captaincy

Exclusive, Authoritative & Elite are a few of the recurring remarks that do get associated with Babar Azam’s batting. A well-deserved stature earned on the back of exceptional skills that he has been successfully depicting over the years. Contrastingly, Babar Azam’s captaincy draws a rather mixed share of opinions. 

With the dismissal of Ramiz Raja from the chairmanship role followed by a complete overhaul in the spheres of the Pakistan Cricket Board, speculations surrounding Babar Azam’s captaincy are indeed escalating. Amid all assumptions and discussions, it is extremely crucial to evaluate “Where does Babar Azam exactly stand as the captain of the National Team?”  

Babar & Ramiz Combo – An Era of Dictating Terms?

Ramiz Raja has been very expressive on the role of a captain and how an aggressive leader can revolutionize the dynamics of Pakistan Cricket. Tracing his inspiration from the former great Imran Khan, Ramiz practically adopted his theory along with Babar Azam.  

Also Read: Good Steps under the Chairmanship of Ramiz Raja

Babar, on the other hand, has remained very selective with his approach. Dominant off the field with a thorough say in the selection matters. The captain appeared rigid from time to time, whether it was persisting with Hasan Ali across formats despite a string of low performances or keeping some key names away from the squad in spite of hefty performances at the domestic level. This demeanour resulted in increasing questions from every corner but was dealt with: “Koi Farq Nahi Parta”.

Babar Azam’s captaincy in Limited Overs Cricket:

A whitewash against a depleted Sri Lankan side in the T20 series at home brought an end to the reign of Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain of the National side. Babar Azam became his successor. He has thus far led the Men in Green in 66 T20Is, winning 40. Under his leadership, the Pakistani team played in the Semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 & Finals of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup 2022.

Babar has captained 18 One Day Internationals, remaining victorious in 12 contests. Neither ultra aggressive nor too defensive, precisely, he has emerged to be a situational-specific white-ball captain, who has been fairly successful in marshalling his troops through thick and thin.

Babar Azam’s captaincy in Red Ball Cricket:

Babar Azam has taken charge as test captain in 16 matches, clinching eight among them, with a couple of draws and defeat in six encounters. Pakistan faced a home series loss against Australia and was whitewashed against England recently under his rule. These losses at the home soil were always going to get accompanied by tough scrutiny. Nasser Hussain lashed out at the one-dimensional captaincy from Babar recently while sharing his two cents:

“The difference between the captains (Azam & Stokes) has been stark, really,” said Nasser. “Babar very orthodox, very… almost textbook. ‘I’ll just bowl the bowlers that are my favourite bowlers that I think might get wickets’. Whereas Stokes is thinking out of the box all the time, he’ll throw the ball randomly to someone if he fancies it, a bit of gut feel. I didn’t feel Babar captained particularly well. It was very orthodox.”

Though it is yet to be unearthed whether Azam will continue leading the National side, the series against New Zealand holds significant importance in this particular regard with the crackling question in the backdrop: ‘Who else can be the possible candidate for the leadership role?’ 

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