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NZ vs PAK 2020: 'Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq will help Babar Azam develop as Test captain' - Mohammad Wasim

Babar Azam (left) has replaced Azhar Ali as Pakistan
Babar Azam (left) has replaced Azhar Ali as Pakistan's Test captain.
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 15:58 IST

Renowned coach and former Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Wasim believes that the presence of Misbah-ul-Haq and seniors like Azhar Ali will help Babar Azam gain confidence as the country’s Test captain.

Babar Azam has been appointed Pakistan’s captain across all formats, and will get his chance to lead in Tests during the New Zealand tour. 

“There is no doubt Babar has proved himself as a batsman in all formats, but when it comes to captaincy in Tests, this will be a different challenge,” Wasim told PakPassion. “We have seen some glimpses of his ability as captain in white-ball cricket, but the red-ball version will present a different set of questions for him, especially on a tough tour of New Zealand. However, I am sure the seniors like Azhar Ali will be around to help him find his feet in Tests.”

Babar Azam will first lead Pakistan in Tests against New Zealand
Babar Azam will first lead Pakistan in Tests against New Zealand

'Important that Babar Azam continues to perform as a batsman' — Mohammad Wasim

Though Wasim backed Babar Azam to do well, he cautioned about the challenges the longer format brings and hopes he will continue to score runs to lead by example.

“It will be important that he continues to perform well as a batsman as others in his team will take inspiration from his good performances and only after one or two series will we get a clearer idea of his leadership skills,” added Wasim, who coaches Northern in Pakistan domestic cricket.

“I am sure with the help of seniors and Misbah-ul-Haq by his side, things will work out for him on the tour of New Zealand and we will see a better and more confident version of Babar emerge,” Wasim further added.

Babar Azam replaced Azhar Ali as the Test skipper earlier this year. Making his Test debut in 2016, Babar has played 29 Tests for Pakistan, scoring 2,045 runs at 45.44. One of the greatest modern-day batters, Babar averages 55.93 and 50.93 in ODIs and T20Is respectively. 

He has been ruled out of the three T20Is in New Zealand. Pakistan will also play two Tests against the Kiwis starting December 26.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 15:58 IST
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