Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Pakistan could spoil Babar Azam with the captaincy

Opinion: Pakistan could spoil Babar Azam with the captaincy

Pakistan could spoil Babar Azam with the captaincy

Any time an exceptionally talented player is handed their national team's captaincy the question of whether or not it will affect the player's performance is invariably asked.

This line of thinking is so well-worn that it has become a cricketing cliche as well as a yardstick for the success of a captaincy alongside the team's performance.

A country where the burden of captaincy is incredibly high is one where they have just appointed their best batsman as skipper.

Babar Azam has assumed the duties of captaincy from Sarfaraz Ahmed and is leading the T20I team in Australia.

The general public in Pakistan, as well as their cricket board, have high expectations for the team and the captain often bears the brunt of harsh criticism.

Babar is only the T20I captain for the time being but he appears to be the man who the PCB want at the helm across all three formats. The player himself has stated his ambition to emulate the likes of Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson who have thrived as skippers.

To date, Babar has appeared as a soft-spoken character in stark contrast to his cousins Umar and Kamran Akmal but he is growing increasingly adept at handling the media, particularly back in Pakistan.

In the Tests against Australia Babar's challenge will be, not leading the side, but providing Pakistan with a consistent release of pressure they will need to combat their oppositions pace attack.

Pakistan would be wise to hold off on thrusting more responsibility onto the 25-year-olds shoulders until they are absolutely certain he is ready for it.

It seems that decision will be up to one of Pakistan's greatest skippers of all-time in Misbah Ul Haq who holds the dual roles of Chief Selector and Head Coach.

Babar's predecessor Sarfaraz lost his place in the T20I side after the shock loss to an understrength Sri Lanka team. The wicketkeeper-batsman was made the scapegoat for that poor display.

The pressure on a captain of Pakistan is immense with so many passionate fans following the team's every move. One of the more bizarre things Pakistan skippers face is High Court petitions and other court cases from disgruntled fans.

Babar does not have the experienced heads of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez to call on for advice and is being directed by a novice coach.

T20 Internationals are often used for experimentation but with the format's World Cup less than a year away the decision is a risky one.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets.

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