Targeting Babar Azam is not right: Misbah-ul-Haq

He was disappointed about speculations over captaincy

January 29, 2023
Misbah (L) speaks to Babar (R) during a training session — PCB

Former Pakistan cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq believes that Babar Azam has been targeted amid rumours about a possible change in captaincy of the national side.

Misbah, who has served as Pakistan head coach and chief selector in the past, was disappointed with speculations over Azam’s captaincy.

“The way Babar Azam has been targeted is not right. No matter who is the captain, a change should only be made after assessing things thoroughly. Decisions should not be taken just for the sake of putting pressure on others,” Misbah told reporters in Lahore on Sunday.

The 48-year-old also stated that is unfair to compare Azam with legendary Indian batter Virat Kohli.

“It is unfair to compare Virat Kohli with Babar Azam. Kohli has played a lot of international cricket, meanwhile Azam has just started his career. We should do the comparison when both have played the same amount of cricket. Kohli’s achievements are unmatchable at the moment,” he said.

However, Misbah lauded Azam’s consistency with the bat over the years.

“Babar is a classy player. His performance has been excellent so far in his career and he is among Pakistan’s greatest batters. He is among the top five players in the world, in terms of rankings, every year because of his quality,” he added.

He also opened up about dip in the Pakistan team’s performance in the longest format of the game during the recent past.

Pakistan were recently whitewashed in a three-match Test series against England on home soil. They also drew two Tests with New Zealand following the England debacle.

“Pakistan have done well in white-ball cricket but the same can’t be said about Test cricket,” he said. “Babar Azam is not solely responsible for Pakistan’s performance in Test cricket. There is lack of planning and proper team selection in Test matches.” 

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.