Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has suggested Babar Azam gives up Pakistan’s T20I captaincy. The former Pakistan all-rounder also named Babar’s potential successor. Notably, Pakistan qualified for the final of the T20 World Cup 2022. Before that, Pakistan also played in the final of the Asia Cup 2022 under Azam’s captaincy. Pakistan also qualified for the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2021.
However, Azam’s batting performance at the showpiece event was below-par as the Pakistan opener scored 124 runs in seven innings with an average of 17.71. But it’s worth mentioning that the batter scored a half-century against New Zealand in the semifinals. Nevertheless, as Babar struggled throughout the tournament, many suggested he should give up T20I captaincy.
Afridi has also joined the bandwagon as he suggested the Pakistan all-format captain gives up the seat to someone else and focuses on his batting. Afridi said that one of Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, and Shadab Khan can succeed Azam as Pakistan’s T20I captain. “Babar Azam should quit the T20I captaincy and focus on his batting. We have other players who can lead the T20I team, like Shadab, Rizwan, and even Shan,” said Afridi.
With so much criticism surrounding Babar’s captaincy, it’s worth mentioning that Babar is also Pakistan's most successful T20I team captain, having won 40 of 66 games, or 65.57 per cent. Pakistan skipper also moved up to third place in the T20I batting rankings.
The major criticism around Babar Azam has come because of him being adamant about giving up his opening slot. Former leg-spinner Danish Kaneria called the Pakistan captain stubborn and said his love for the opening position is hurting Pakistan.
“Babar Azam has been stubborn about not giving up his opening spot. The same happened when he played for the Karachi Kings too. He is adamant about this because he knows he cannot bat in the middle order. His stubbornness is only going to hurt Pakistani Cricket because of the way he bats,” Kaneria said.