Pakistan’s new white ball leader Babar Azam wants to follow in the footsteps of former captain Imran Khan and embrace controlled aggression. Last weekAzam was named captain of the Pakistan ODI and the 25-year-old is also the heir of Azhar Ali in Test cricket.
“I want to follow what I have learned who attacked. So, I want to follow the style of captain Imran Khan,” Azam said in an online press conference on Monday. “As a captain, you have to learn to be cool. You have to bring players and plan with them against other teams. There are instances when you are angry inside but then you have to hold back and have to control yourself. Aggression on the field. Confidence is the key and increasingly You support your players, they will give their best. With the support of your players you can make a bed of thorns turn into a bed of roses. “
Azam is Pakistan’s main batsman in various formats and his recent increase to ODI as the captain confirmed his status as the highest profile cricket player in Pakistan. When asked if he felt additional pressure from the leadership, Azam said he was ready for a new role.
“This is a challenge and you must always be ready to accept the challenge,” Azam said. “When Wasim Khan (PCB CEO) called me first about handing me the captain, it naturally made me happy. It was written in my destiny and it did come to me. You can’t complain that you got it earlier or it was a big responsibility “If they (PCB) instill their trust in me, obviously they think about it and see the potential in me and I’m ready for this.”
In addition to challenges on the ground, Azam must deal with pressures from the media, senior players and power struggles in the election. Historically, many Pakistani captains have struggled to juggle various roles and as a result have moved away from playing their natural game. Azam, however, is convinced that leadership will not have an adverse effect on his blows.
“I like to take up challenges and there is a big difference between being captain and hitting,” Azam said. “I didn’t think there would be any effect on my shots. In fact, I never thought about this because when I hit I wouldn’t think about the captain, so my focus would always be on my punch. After that I would look at how to deal with other things and how to draw a team performance and that is a challenge and I’m ready for it.
“I certainly don’t expect a straight line to win as captain. Obviously there won’t be a decorated rose bed. There will be ups and downs, there will be mistakes and there will be good performances – so this is the part and parcel.”
Azam supported himself to make his own decision as captain, but said that he would also take input from senior players and team management whenever he needed support.
“Every time I feel I need help, there are senior players who help and I look back to Misbah bhai for advice, “Azam said.” It was a false impression that the head coach controlled me as a captain with his decision. That’s a different perspective. This is definitely not like being the captain of the U-19 or A team where you rely more on the dressing room for decisions on the field. I have learned enough to drive my own game on the field with my decision. But this is a team game, you sometimes need tips from staff sitting outside and if they have good suggestions, then I consider and register. So this is how it works. “
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