Babar Azam is regarded as the new superstar of the Pakistan cricket team. He has been compared with Indian skipper as well as batting megastar Virat Kohli ever since Azam surpassed Kohli to become the fastest to reach 1000 T20I runs in 2018. Babar had an outstanding World Cup 2019 where he had amassed close to 500 runs. He was named Pakistan's T20I skipper last October and has now been named the ODI skipper of the 'Men In Green' as well. Lately, he has been criticised by Pakistani cricketing legends for a press conference where he had no vision regarding the country's cricketing future.
The top-ranked T20I batsman was criticised by none other than former Pakistani wicket-keeper batsman Rashid Latif and the 'Rawalpindi Express' Shoaib Akhtar. During a recent interview with a news channel, Latif went on to say that when the captain is sitting in a press conference he gives insight about his vision, but this was clearly lacking at Babar's end. He then mentioned that Pakistan's new ODI captain is giving headlines about the language barrier and things that one already is aware of just like his comparison with his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli.
The ex-stumper then added that Pakistan's limited-overs skipper should have made a strong statement rather than just following the script given to him. Furthermore, he also added Azam has already showcased that your mental attitude and approach is not up to the mark.
Meanwhile, Rashid Latif's former Pakistani team-mate and an aggressive fast bowler during his playing days, Shoaib Akhtar went on to say that Babar needs to take a leaf out of legendary all-rounder and current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's book with regards to personality as well. The pace icon then mentioned that the Pakistani batting sensation should not speak of things which they are already aware of from the past 10 years and that they will not buy this argument. Akhtar further added that the T20I specialist has to sharpen his communication skills, his personality, ability to lead from the front, fitness level etc. and the ex-speedster also reckons that the youngster has a lot to prove.
A controversy had erupted just days after Babar Azam took over captaincy for the Pakistan cricket team. Azam has hit out at former Pakistan player Tanvir Ahmed, who had advised Azam to improve his personality including English speaking skills. The Pakistan captain, who ranks number one on ICC's Men's T20 batting rankings, has stated that his job is to play cricket rather than anything else.
A leading Pakistan cricket website reported that Azam expressed that he is not a 'Gora' (sic.) i.e. an Englishman who knows English completely. He added that he is working on his communication skills and that one learns these things over a period of time, not suddenly. Furthermore, Azam also opened up on being selected as the captain of the team and remarked that it is an honour for him. He also stated that it is not easy to lead Pakistan and he takes advice from Misbah Ul Haq and other senior players, adding that he believes in attacking captaincy like Imran Khan.