Pakistan's current frontline pacer Haris Rauf credited national team skipper Babar Azam for his improved performance in white-ball cricket.
Speaking to a local publication, Haris, who has improved his death bowling since ICC T20 World Cup 2021, said Babar is the biggest reason behind his improvement.
"I strongly believe that the improvement in my performance is all because of Babar Azam," credited the right-handed pacer. "We played really good and exciting cricket in the last two years. In this period, we emerged as a good unit, especially in white-ball cricket, and the credit goes to our skipper Babar Azam, who trusted the abilities of players, which ultimately gave us the confidence," he added.
Since 2021, Haris has emerged as the frontline pacer in Pakistan team. In the absence of the country's premium fast bowler in T20 Asia Cup last year, Haris led the team's pace battery from the front.
While talking about his bond with Shaheen, Haris said the latter is a great support to him. "Shaheen Shah Afridi is a great support from the other end. We have a very strong bond, and it helps me to keep enhancing my bowling skills," he said.
Haris recalled the time when Shaheen wasn't fit to play for Pakistan. "Shaheen wasn't a part of the T20 Asia Cup and T20 series against England, so I was leading the bowling unit. I was extra responsible and managing my bowlers accordingly,
"It wasn’t easy to lead the bowling unit without him, but I was lucky enough that I took the advantage and learned this job from Shaheen," he mentioned.
Shaheen and Haris are currently leading pace battery of defending champions Lahore Qalandars in Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 8. The two pacers share an excellent bond in Qalandars' team who lifted their maiden PSL title last year under the captaincy of Shaheen.
Pakistan team's hard-hitting batter Iftikhar Ahmed believes that criticising Babar Azam is like committing a sin.
Speaking in his latest interview on a local tv channel, Iftikhar said there is no comparison of Babar in the world right now.
"Criticising a player like Babar is just like committing a sin. Everyone knows that there is no other player like Babar in the world," he said.
"See your level before commenting on Babar. First, make yourself like him and then criticise. I believe criticising Babar is a sin," he reiterated.
Babar has often faced criticism for his strike-rate and captaincy. He is currently leading Peshawar Zalmi in Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 8.