Former opener Salman Butt believes that the Pakistan team could be in trouble if skipper Babar Azam doesn’t feature in the playing XI due to any reason.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt pointed out how Babar has been a top performer with the bat for the Men in Green in recent years. He highlighted that opposition teams often tend to dominate Pakistan once the captain is dismissed.
Shedding light on Babar’s importance as a batter, Butt explained:
“Pakistan are going to struggle badly if Babar Azam has to sit out for any reason. He is the mainstay of this batting lineup across formats. When he gets out, the opposition gains the upper hand, and your chance of winning reduces drastically.”
Notably, Babar showcased ominous form during the team’s recently concluded three-match home ODI series against New Zealand. The star batter mustered 149 runs from three outings at an average of 49.66. However, the hosts suffered a 2-1 defeat in the series.
“There needs to be a lot of improvement” – Salman Butt on Babar Azam’s captaincy
Salman Butt further stated that while Babar Azam has been a proven campaigner as a batter, there is still some scope for improvement when it comes to his captaincy.
He emphasized that the Pakistan skipper doesn’t know what to do when several notable names are absent from the team. The 38-year-old also stated that Babar’s decision-making hasn’t been up to the mark on many occasions.
“Babar Azam is an outstanding performer. He is one of the top players in the world and has also held the top position in the rankings for a very long time in two formats. The entire world has acknowledged him.
“But when we talk about his captaincy, there needs to be a lot of improvement. It is quite evident that he is short of ideas when he is on the field. He doesn’t seem to have a Plan B when there aren’t enough resources.”
Butt suggested that the Pakistani team management must support Babar. He mentioned that the side need to build a think tank that would help the captain make better decisions. He elaborated:
“Whenever there is a situation like this, the captain needs to be a very good decision-maker. Or, he has to have a top-notch think thank, that is strategically very sound. If the captain lacks confidence, he needs the support of the team management. But here, the people who are part of the management are only concerned about themselves.”
Babar Azam and Co. have a chance of redeeming themselves by coming up with an improved performance against New Zealand in a few months time. The two nations are set to compete in five T20Is and as many ODIs in April and May this year.