Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal said captain Babar Azam is “not a kid anymore” and needs to man up and “insist on the players he wants” in the national team.
This comes after Azam wanted spinner Yasir Shah included in the Test squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, but the selectors ignored him.
He also asked for batsman Haris Sohail to be in the ODI team, but once again, the selectors didn’t listen.
Akmal noted that Azam needs to stay strong and keep making his voice heard because if he doesn’t, “it could hurt his own focus and performances”.
“I think the captain has the biggest role. He must insist on the players he wants. All successful teams have a captain deciding the players and creating a team filled with match-winners,” he said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“Look at England, India and New Zealand. They are great captains and they have made great teams. The responsibility lies with Babar Azam.
“If Babar doesn’t tell them then it could hurt his own focus and performances. That is why I think it is Babar’s responsibility. He is not a kid anymore. He is experienced and is a top-class player. The PCB has given him complete authority. He should utilise that authority. If he relies on these individuals then our cricket might not be headed towards betterment.”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.
Pakistan’s Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.
Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.