Babar is not a born captain: Sikander Bakht

Former Test cricketer called Babar Azam's captaincy "scripted"

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Sports Desk
Sikandar Bakht (left) and Babar Azam. — Faceook/Sikander Bakht/AFP/File
Sikandar Bakht (left) and Babar Azam. — Faceook/Sikander Bakht/AFP/File

Former Pakistani Test cricketer Sikandar Bakht has criticised the national side skipper Babar Azam, saying he is not a "born leader".

During a recent interview on a YouTube channel, Bakht said that Babar lacks the skills of a born leader.

"Honestly speaking, Babar has to learn a lot as a captain. There are so many people who are born as leaders. Babar is not a born leader," he said.

"When he was given the captaincy, I said in my interview that he wasn't a good choice. I wanted him to prove me wrong by showing his captaincy but he didn't," the cricketer-turned-analyst said.

While giving examples of Babar's weaknesses in captaincy, Bakht highlighted that he didn't utilise Agha Salman and Iftikhar Ahmed with the ball in the recent Test series. 

"Let me give you a recent example. Agha Salman is an off-spinner, Babar only gave two-three overs to him in one Test, and in another match, he let him bowl complete overs. He also didn't utilise Iftikhar," he recalled.

Under Babar's captaincy, Pakistan lost five Tests, won one, and drew three out of nine they played in 2022. They lost the home Test series against Australia and England.

Moreover, Bakht questioned Babar's captaincy skills while making decisions according to the situation.

"So many times I think Babar does scripted captaincy. He pens down the plan and comes with it in the ground. It doesn't work at all. Cricket is a game of situations. Being a captain, you have to be smart enough to react in different situations, if you don't, then you are not a good captain," he shared his thoughts.

"Let me tell you, Mushtaq Ahmed was our captain. He used to bring Wasim Raja, one of the great all-rounders of his time, to provide a breakthrough. So many times Mushtaq made use of Wasim and the latter provided a breakthrough to the team before Lunch," he mentioned.

"Babar is a 50 per cent captain and he needs to learn in the rest of the 50 per cent," he concluded.

Under Babar, Pakistan have played 60 international matches from 2019 to 2022. They won 40 and lost 21. Babar also led the Pakistan team to the semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup 2021, final of ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and the Asia Cup 2022.