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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said captain Babar Azam has to become a “man of steel”.
Akhtar noted that Azam needs to evolve and show everyone “what you are made of”.
However, the Rawalpindi Express believes that if Azam fails to do this, he will lose support.
“When you come in the limelight and go on the path of becoming a real star, some people will try to bring you down and make you suffer. That is the time when you have to show what you are made of,” Akhtar said while speaking during a show on PTV Sports as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“Babar Azam now needs to evolve as a captain, player and batsman so that everyone knows that he is a man of steel.
“If you are not a man of steel then there will be no one backing you. I will be honest with you, I remember [the] exact words of many CEO/Chairman [of PCB] who said that Rashid [Latif] bhai will stay as captain [for] six years. I have seen the high and lows of life [in cricket] over the past 24 years.”
Azam has been in sensational form as of late as he made scores of 19, 77 not out and 125 in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, and followed it up by making 82 and 51 in the first two T20 Internationals. He didn’t bat in the third match of the series.
The 26-year-old continued to shine in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs as he scored 65 in the Qualifier and 63 not out in the final to lead the Karachi Kings to their first-ever title.
His next assignment will be the tour of New Zealand, which will be his first series as Test captain.
Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests in New Zealand, with the series beginning on December 18 and concluding on January 7.