Pakistan’s next all-format captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed throws support behind 24-year-old who already has leadership experience

Sarfaraz Ahmed has backed Shadab Khan to be Pakistan's next all-format captain

Sarfaraz Ahmed: “Shadab Khan. The batting order at which he plays, he can adjust in the team, or if you play overseas or play Test cricket, you need to play with five bowlers”

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Sarfaraz Ahmed, the senior wicketkeeper-batsman, has thrown his support behind spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan as Pakistan’s next all-format captain.

Currently, Babar Azam holds that role and has managed to maintain his form with the bat as well.

A number of potential candidates have popped up as potential successors, including wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and left-arm pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi as they captain the Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars respectively in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Shadab leads Islamabad United in the PSL and is also in the race, especially since he is the team’s vice-captain in limited overs cricket. On top of this, he captained Pakistan during a three-match T20I series against Afghanistan earlier in 2023.

However, the one issue that could stop the 24-year-old from becoming the country’s all-format captain is the fact that he hasn’t played Test cricket since August 2020.

Despite this, Sarfaraz feels that Shadab’s versatility makes him stand out above Rizwan and Afridi.

“Shadab Khan. The batting order at which he plays, he can adjust in the team, or if you play overseas or play Test cricket, you need to play with five bowlers,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

“Among those five bowlers, your fifth bowler will be your all-rounder, who can bat and bowl both. Whether we talk about one-day cricket or T20 cricket, he (Shadab) can adjust himself in all three formats.”

Pakistan recently defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in a Test series before going on to beat Afghanistan 3-0 in an ODI series.

They are now playing in the Asia Cup, where they began with a 238-run win over Nepal before having to share one point apiece with India after their match was abandoned due to rain.

Having made it through to the Super Fours, the men in green took down Bangladesh by seven wickets in Lahore prior to suffering their first loss as India beat them by 228 runs.

Pakistan will look to bounce back from the drubbing when they take on Sri Lanka on September 14 in Colombo.

Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.

Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir

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