Shahid Afridi backs under pressure Pakistan player, says he is the backbone of the team

Shahid Afridi has backed under pressure Pakistan captain Babar Azam, saying he is the backbone of the team

Shahid Afridi: “No doubt, Babar Azam is the backbone of this team”

Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani

Iconic Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has backed captain Babar Azam, saying he is the “backbone” of the national team.

Azam is under increasing pressure after Pakistan endured a dismal home season, where they were whitewashed 3-0 in their Test series against England.

They then played two Tests against New Zealand, both of which ended as a draw, while they lost the three-match ODI series that followed 2-1.

This has boosted speculation about Azam potentially losing the captaincy in one or two formats, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

Despite the mounting pressure on the 28-year-old, Afridi has come to his defence, saying he continues to be the most consistent batsman in the side in all three formats.

“No doubt, Babar Azam is the backbone of this team,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

Azam will now captain the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which runs from February 13 to March 19 in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.

He was traded to the Zalmi from the Karachi Kings in exchange for Pakistan big-hitter Haider Ali and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

Ironically, the Zalmi will kick off their campaign in PSL 8 against the Kings on February 14 in Karachi.

Peshawar Zalmi Squad for PSL 8: Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Haris, Aamer Jamal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Saim Ayub, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir, Haseebullah Khan, Sufyan Muqeem and James Neesham

MORE PAKISTAN CRICKET NEWS: Mohammad Hafeez feels Pakistan star might need a break, tells Babar Azam to consider replacing him with Sarfaraz Ahmed

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Which team will win PSL 8?

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