Former Pakistani fast bowler, Junaid Khan, recently criticized Babar Azam’s captaincy, highlighting a lack of improvement despite leading the team in all three formats for the past four years.
Not a Quick Learner, Lacked Aggression
In a podcast hosted by Nadir Shah, Junaid expressed his view that Babar Azam is not a quick learner and lacked aggression as a captain. Comparing him to Sarfaraz Khan, Junaid noted Saifi bhai’s continual improvement and the team’s success under his leadership.
Weak Opposition and Captaincy Concerns
Junaid questioned the claim that Pakistan became the ODI No. 1 team under Babar’s captaincy, asserting that the achievement was against weak teams. While acknowledging Babar’s prowess as a world-class batter, Junaid criticized his captaincy, stating it was not up to the mark.
Support for Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi
The left-arm pacer voiced support for Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who were appointed as captains for Test and T20Is, respectively. Junaid particularly praised Shaheen for positively impacting Lahore Qalandar’s cricket.
Importance of Aggression in Leadership
Drawing examples from international cricket, Junaid emphasized the importance of aggression in a leader. He cited Pat Cummins, who led Australia to an ODI World Cup victory, and Virat Kohli, noting that despite struggles, Kohli’s aggression contributed to his success.
Comparisons with Legendary Captains
Junaid compared Babar Azam to legends like MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, acknowledging their less aggressive approach but highlighting their effective leadership. However, he argued that Babar lacked those essential leadership traits.
A Lesson from Imran Khan
Referring to World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan, Junaid pointed out that while Khan’s overall captaincy record might not have been stellar, winning the last match, in this case, the 1992 World Cup, played a crucial role in shaping cricket memory.
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