The fate of Babar Azam’s captaincy for the Pakistan cricket team hinges on their performance in the ongoing World Cup in India. Pakistan’s mixed results, with three losses out of five matches, place pressure on Azam’s leadership. The Pakistan Cricket Board has hinted at a potential change in captaincy if the team’s campaign falters. Three candidates are being considered as potential replacements, each with their own strengths and drawbacks.
Muhammad Rizwan, a trusted deputy to Azam, boasts solid batting skills and has experience leading Multan Sultans to success in the Pakistan Super League. However, at 31, he may offer only a short-term solution.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, the towering left-arm fast bowler, has the potential to be a strong skipper, having led Lahore Qalandars to a PSL title at a young age. Still, the risk of injury is a concern for a fast bowler, and Pakistan may not afford to lose their pace spearhead.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, with his previous captaincy experience and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy win, represents a short-term fix, but his age may work against him. He is on the wrong side of 30, which could limit his tenure as captain.
Ultimately, Pakistan’s decision will depend on the team’s performance in the World Cup and the priorities of the Pakistan Cricket Board regarding leadership and future prospects.