Kamran Akmal sledges Babar Azam for his captaincy skills

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Pakistans former wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal (left) and national cricket teams captain Babar Azam. — Instagram/AFP/@kamranakmal23
Pakistan's former wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal (left) and national cricket team's captain Babar Azam. — Instagram/AFP/@kamranakmal23

Kamran Akmal, Pakistan's former wicketkeeper-batter, sledged national cricket team captain Babar Azam for his poor captaincy skills in the T20 International series against New Zealand.

Akmal, taking to his YouTube channel, said the 28-year-old skipper hasn't learnt to do captaincy even in the four years.

The ex-member of the national men's team — who has played 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is — said blunders were made in the last T20I, as bowlers in the team were not used properly.

"We lost because of our own mistakes and nobody is ready to accept that. In the last T20I, we made blunders, we didn't use our bowlers properly. We failed to defend a good total with our bowlers who have done well in the recent past," he said.

Akmal added that there is a difference between performance and captaincy.

"If you talk about all this, they say we are criticising. There is a difference between performance and captaincy. Who is talking about performance, we are not blind, we are seeing captaincy. It's been four years and still, he [Babar] doesn't know how to do captaincy," the former wicketkeeper-batter highlighted.

The 41-year-old veteran cricketer thinks that Babar, who is also his cousin, should have utilised Iftikhar Ahmed when Mark Chapman and Jimmy Neesham, both left-handers, built a match-winning partnership during the fifth and series-deciding T20I in Rawalpindi.

"If both the left-handed batsmen were on the crease, the logical choice would have been to give the ball to Iftikhar Ahmed. But instead, we saw the leg-spinner Shadab Khan being given the over and was being continuously smashed by the New Zealand batters," he said.

Akmal said that cricket in Pakistan is suffering. "Our main bowlers conceded 40+ runs which cost us. We need to think about it," he concluded.

Chapman and Neesham scored a match-winning partnership of 121 runs as New Zealand won the fifth T20I to level the five-match series 2-2. The two teams will now meet in five-match ODI series, starting on April 27 in Rawalpindi.