New leader Babar Azam ready for first assignment in post-Sarfaraz era

Web Desk

Ahead of his first-ever outing as Pakistan's new T20I captain, Babar Azam on Saturday said that he would miss his predecessor and recently sacked skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed "a lot" in the series against Australia.

The 25-year-old Azam took over the T20I reins from Sarfaraz earlier this month after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to remove the Karachi native due to his failing level of performances.

On the eve of Pakistan's first assignment in the post-Sarfaraz era, Azam paid a tribute to the man he replaced in the leadership role.

"Of course, we would miss him a lot," he said at a press conference in Sydney on the even of the first T20I between Pakistan and Australia.

"Sarfaraz’s services for Pakistan are immeasurable. He made the team number one [in the world] and I hope to build on this."

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He dismissed the notion that his inexperience as a captain and the need to juggle batting with leadership would be a problem.

"When I will be batting, I will only focus on piling up the runs but when I will be on the field, I will then step into my role as captain and lead the team," he said, emphasising that he would take things one at a time.

"I also have [some] experience as I was the captain back in 2012 for the U-19 team at the World Cup in Australia. I am familiar with the conditions."

When asked if Misbah would be the de factor captain due to his inexperience, Azam was quick to remind that "at the end of the day, Misbah will not be on the field to lead the team."

Pakistan T20I skipper Babar Azam said that the he hopes to put a good show on the Australian turf when the two team will meet for the first of the three T20I series at Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Australian batsman David Warner was in top form in the recent whitewash of Sri Lanka, not getting dismissed even once in three outings.

Azam said he would assign the towering Mohammad Irfan and the cunning Mohammad Amir to connive the downfall of the diminutive Aussie demolition man.

"Our leading bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Irfan will shoulder the task of dismissing Warner and we hope it happens in the early stages of the game," he said.

Read more: Pakistan’s first-ever T20I in Australia: When Akmal bros showed their best and worst in 2010

Azam expressed confidence in the composition of his side, saying: "Having fresh talent like Musa Khan and Mohammad Hasnain alongside seasoned players like Wahab Riaz, Amir and Irfan is a great combination and I am excited to lead this diverse team."

The first T20I is scheduled to start in Sydney on Sunday at 8:30pm PST. 

New leader Babar Azam ready for first assignment in post-Sarfaraz era