Grant Flower opines on Babar Azam’s appointment as limited-overs captain.  |  Photo Credit: AP
- Babar Azam was recently appointed as the ODI skipper of Pakistan
- In 2019, he already took over the reins as a T20I skipper
- Grant Flower, thus, opened up on Babar Azam’s appointment as limited-overs captain
Babar Azam was recently appointed as Pakistan’s ODI skipper. The 25-year-old had already taken over the reins as T20I captain when he replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed following Men in Green’s 3-0 whitewash at the hands of a second-string Sri Lanka at home in October last year.
In his brief stint as the shortest format’s captain so far, the right-hander has shown that he is capable of captaining as well as managing the responsibility to score at regular intervals. Hence, he was the obvious choice to take over the ODI line-up as well.
There have been positive responses, at large, from the cricketing fraternity on Babar’s appointment as a limited-overs captain. However, former Pakistan batting coach and Zimbabwe all-rounder Grant Flower hopes the youngster doesn’t regret taking over the added responsibility.
Flower was quoted as saying by Stats Perform News, “He’s got a good cricketing brain but there’s a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public. If you start losing, it’s one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly. We’ve seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better than the world is his oyster. Time will tell,” Flower cautioned Babar.
Since his international debut in 2015, Babar has been a force to reckon in the international arena. The right-hander averages over 50 in ODIs and was in stellar form in the red-ball format before the lockdown. Moreover, his numbers in T20Is are very impressive too — 13 half-centuries at an average of 50.72.
While he has built a reputation for his batting prowess, Babar’s litmus test will commence as the limited-overs captain once cricketing ties resume. Having been part of the Men in Green’s miserable few years in the shorter formats, he will be eager to make a statement from the onset.