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Sarfaraz Ahmed sacked as T20I and Test captain; Babar Azam and Azhar Ali to take up respective roles

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed
Aakash Arya

Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as the T20I and Test captain by the Pakistan cricket board on Friday, after a string of poor performances with the bat saw him being dropped from the Test team to tour Australia in December and the T20I team as well.

Babar Azam will be the new T20I captain while Azhar Ali will lead the side in Test cricket.

Azam will continue as the T20 captain at least until the T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in October next year in Australia. Ali will see through his tenure as the Test captain of the Pakistan team for the entirety of the 2019-20 World Test Championship.

Azhar Ali (left) and Babar Azam (right)
Azhar Ali (left) and Babar Azam (right)

Sarfaraz became the captain after the retirement of the current head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq. He took over the reins of the Pakistan team in September 2017 and captained in 13 Tests, winning only four and losing eight. Sarfaraz also took Pakistan to the top of the T20I rankings and also won them the Champions Trophy in England in 2017, beating India in the final.

As captain, Sarfaraz scored 568 runs at a dismal average of 25.81 in comparison to his average of 40.96 when he wasn't the skipper. In 37 games as the T20I captain, he scored 521 games at an average of 27.42. Pakistan won 29 T20I games and lost only eight with Sarfaraz as the leader.

Sarfaraz's replacement in Test cricket, Azhar Ali, has played 73 Tests and scored 5669 runs at an average of 43.27, scoring 15 centuries with a top score of 302. The new T20I captain, Babar Azam, is currently in exemplary form in all formats. In 33 T20Is, he has scored 1290 runs at an incredible average of 49.61, with a top score of 97 not out.

Sarfaraz's sacking doesn't come as a surprise as the Pakistan team were constantly surrounded by controversies throughout the World Cup, plus his dip in batting and wicket-keeping form posed a serious threat to his role as a leader.

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Edited by Zaid Khan

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