Pakistan captaincy: 3 candidates who could replace Babar Azam

A new skipper could be at the helm after the World Cup being played in India


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Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Published: Thu 26 Oct 2023, 10:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Oct 2023, 10:53 PM

Pakistan captain Babar Azam's fate as skipper will boil down to how the team fares at the ongoing World Cup in India.

Pakistan have lost three matches out of the five they have played so far and are currently sixth on the points table.

After defeating the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan suffered three defeats on the trot — against India, Australia and a shock loss to Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday hinted that Azam's captaincy could be on the line if the team's campaign fails.

According to reports, there are three candidates who could replace Babar Azam depending on how things go.

Here we take a look at the three candidates:

Muhammad Rizwan

Photo: PTI File
Photo: PTI File

A trusted lieutenant to Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan is one of Pakistan's best batsman, apart from the current captain himself. Rizwan is also the team's wicketkeeper and is part of the team's leadership group. He has captaincy experience in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) with Multan Sultans, leading them to the title in his first season as skipper in 2021 and followed it up with runners-up finishes in the next two seasons. Rizwan, who has played 28 Tests, 70 ODIs and 85 T20Is so far, has a sharp cricketing brain and is a strong contender. The only downside would be he is 31 now and would be a short-term choice.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

Photo: Reuters File
Photo: Reuters File

Another strong contender to replace Azam is Shaheen Shah Afridi. The towering left-arm quick is the leader of Pakistan bowling attack and would be a good fit as skipper. Afridi also has captaincy experience, having led the Lahore Qalandars to the PSL title last year. And in doing so, the 23-year-old became the youngest captain to win a T20 league. On the flipside, being a fast bowler means being prone to injuries and Pakistan can ill afford the potential absence of their pace spearhead.

Sarfaraz Ahmed

Photo: X
Photo: X

Sarfaraz Ahmed is a long shot but would represent a good short-term fix to Pakistan's problems. Sarfaraz has captaine the team across all three formats and with a lot of success. He is the only captain to have won an international trophy since Pakistan's 1992 World Cup triumph, whe he led the team to the ICC Champions Trophy title. But the age factor could rule him out as he is on the wrong side of 30.


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