Pakistan faced a disappointing campaign in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, falling short of expectations and failing to secure a spot in the semi-finals after losing five out of their nine league matches. The team’s lackluster performance has led to widespread criticism, with skipper Babar Azam bearing the brunt of fans, former players, and cricket experts.

Babar Azam under scrutiny

Babar, considered one of the top ODI batters, endured a subpar World Cup with the bat, accumulating just 320 runs in nine games. The captaincy abilities of Babar have also come under scrutiny, with questions raised about his leadership and decision-making on the field.

Shahid Afridi’s views on Babar Azam’s captaincy

In response to the team’s struggles and calls for a change in captaincy, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi expressed his views during an interview with Samaa TV. Afridi acknowledged the expectations placed on Babar but highlighted the captain’s failure to show improvement over the past four years.

“He’s been captain since four years or so, there was never a sword hanging over his head. We all supported him during this phase. We thought in three-four years he would be well-groomed to handle the responsibility of a captain. He would mould himself as a captain. But this didn’t happen,” Afridi said.

Also READ: Kapil Dev backs Babar Azam amid captaincy criticism after Pakistan’s horrific performance in the ODI World Cup 2023

Afridi proposed change in white-ball captaincy

While Afridi still sees potential in Babar as a captain in red-ball cricket, he suggested a change in leadership for white-ball formats. According to Afridi, Babar should continue leading the team in Test cricket, where he believes the captain can refine his leadership skills. However, when it comes to limited-overs cricket, particularly in 50-over and T20 formats, Afridi recommended wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan to take over the captaincy reins.

“When it comes to the Test team I don’t think there needs to be a change in captaincy. Babar should lead in Tests. (In other formats) The PCB has time on their hands (to make any decision). However if you asked me i think Mohammad Rizwan should led the side in the white ball-format,” the 46-year-old concluded.

Pakistan’s future challenges

Looking ahead, Pakistan faces a challenging tour of Australia, scheduled to play three Tests from December 14 to January 7. The tour provides an opportunity for the team to regroup, reassess their strategies, and potentially implement changes in leadership as they aim for better performances in the upcoming series.

Also READ: India veteran Ravi Shastri picks the two finalists of ODI World Cup 2023

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