‘We became No.1 by playing against weak teams’ Junaid Khan on Babar’s captaincy

Former Pakistan pacer, Junaid Khan, has criticized Babar Azam’s captaincy, being straightforward and not holding back in expressing his discontent.

On November 15, Babar stepped down from captaincy in all formats following a meeting with Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee.

The PCB then appointed Shan Masood as the Test captain of Pakistan Men’s Cricket Team, while Shaheen Shah Afridi was named T20I captain.

In a recent podcast with a local YouTube channel, Khan took the opportunity to dissect Azam’s leadership skills, asserting that the star batsman has failed to evolve in his role as captain.

The former pacer went on to cast doubt on the credibility of the 29-year-old’s achievements as captain, particularly in the ODI format.

“Babar had not improved as a captain. If you see Sarfaraz Ahmed, he kept improving day by day. We won the Champions Trophy under his leadership, became World No.1 in the T20Is. People say we became ODI No.1 team under Babar’s captaincy. But we became No.1 by playing against weak teams. Babar is not a quick learner. He is a world-class batter but his captaincy was not up to the mark,” Junaid Khan said.

Drawing comparisons with international captains who have tasted success, the former left-arm pacer pointed to players like Pat Cummins and Virat Kohli, emphasizing the importance of aggression and leading by example.

“Look at Pat Cummins, he won the ODI World Cup for Australia. He is aggressive, he walks the talk. Virat Kohli also struggled but he has that aggression. He struggled after MS Dhoni retired, but he still has a good record. People will say Dhoni and Stephen Fleming were not aggressive but they know how to lead a side. Babar doesn’t had those traits. You need to show aggression to boost the boys. He has captained all the formats for four years but there was no progress,” he concluded.