Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan is backing both Azhar Ali and Babar Azam to improve as captains.
Azhar is in charge of the Test team and Wasim noted that he “hasn’t captained Pakistan for long and needs a level of development to his captaincy”.
As for Azam, who is in charge in limited overs cricket, Wasim admitted that the 25-year-old is “very inexperienced”, but backed him to grow into the leadership role and lead by example just like India’s Virat Kohli and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson have.
“In Azhar’s case, we know that he hasn’t captained Pakistan for long and needs a level of development to his captaincy,” Wasim told PakPassion. “The situation he found in the first Test during the tour of England was very challenging and a pressurised atmosphere, but he will learn from that and will improve, and get better.
“Babar is a young guy but as we have seen with Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, whenever captaincy is given to such players, its either a burden or allows them to fully flow, improve and get better, and to take on the responsibility. Babar is certainly a very inexperienced captain, but he will develop.
“Captains around the world have been known to have developed when thrown in at the deep end. We have seen Graeme Smith who was made captain at the age of 22 who hadn’t any captaincy experience and there he was playing and captaining senior players.
“The fact is that if people have the right skills and character then captaincy doesn’t become a burden. Instead it becomes something they are enthralled by and it’s a motivating factor, and they want to lead from the front, and take great delight in leading.
“Babar certainly is not one to shirk away from responsibility and he will only improve and get better. The good thing is that he will always have experience he can draw upon and he will know that he is not there all alone. We are trying to develop 11 leaders on the field. We are also trying to develop the thinking of some of our Under 19 players so that they can become future leaders and support the captain, have an opinion and not be afraid to share their opinion which will create constructive conflict.
“The very best high-performing teams have those characteristics within their environments. These are the kinds of things we want to develop in our team environment and ones that will keep on developing as part of the High-Performance system we have set up.”