Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif believes Pakistan captain Babar Azam is becoming more and more like his India counterpart Virat Kohli.
Latif feels Azam is starting to take charge of the Pakistan team and voicing his opinions on important matters.
The 52-year-old noted that Kohli “is a complete leader” and Azam is “also on the right path”.
“I think Babar has to become a leader like Virat rather than just being a captain of the team,” Latif said in a YouTube video as quoted by Sportstar.
“Virat has developed into a leader and in cricket and sports, when you are made the captain, you have to become a leader… and by that, I mean you have to be respected on and off the field. You have to stand up for your players and you have to take the hard and out of box decisions.
“You look at Virat today and he is a complete leader and his own stature as a batsman has also helped a lot. But you can see in the attitude of the Indian team and their selection, Virat has his say in everything.
“I think Babar is also on the right path and I felt he had his input in the squad selected for the New Zealand tour. I think Babar, because of his exceptional batting talents, has the makings of a good leader.
“He may seem meek and an introvert but he is mentally very strong and has game awareness and you can see this in his batting.”
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.
He 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.
The 26-year-old’s 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.