Former Pakistan opening batter Aamer Sohail reckons the national team’s woes extend well beyond the captaincy. Instead, the 56-year-old believes the management and board must focus on grooming prospective cricketers for the future.
Babar Azam, who took over as Pakistan’s captain across formats in November 2020, has come under scrutiny after a winless home season. The Men in Green lost the T20 and Test series to England before drawing the two-Test series against New Zealand. Nevertheless, the Kiwis consigned the hosts to a defeat in the following three-game ODI rubber.
Speaking to Dawn News, Aamer Sohail said:
“I do not agree that change in captaincy will bring any significant progress. Is there a guarantee that a new skipper will result in improved showing by the team? Instead of captaincy, focus should be on grooming budding players, which Pakistan definitely has in abundance.”
Newly-elected Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi is likely to announce Babar’s future on Monday, while also announcing the new team management and selection committee. The 28-year-old became the first Pakistan captain to suffer a series whitewash in Test cricket at home courtesy of England. The last year passed by without a Test victory for Pakistan on home soil.
“Pakistan’s bowlers definitely have to improve more” – Aamir Sohail
The former Pakistan opener also called for the bowlers to adapt well to the batter-friendly tracks in India for the 2023 World Cup. He also opined that the batters need to play aggressive cricket and aim for big totals.
Aamer Sohail added:
“Pakistan’s bowlers definitely have to improve more to get themselves ready for batter-friendly tracks in India where most pitches generally produce ODI totals in the range of 300-330.
“Our team should plan to enable the bowlers to restrict the opposition to around 270-280. Similarly, [when batting first] our batters should eye a higher than [the] average totals of 300-plus that can give our bowlers room to put pressure on the opposition,” concluded Aamer Sohail.
Pakistan have earned direct qualification for the showpiece event and are currently third in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings.