Shoaib Malik: Babar Azam deserves a long rope as Pakistan captain

Seasoned all-rounder Shoaib Malik believes that Babar Azam should be given a longer rope so that he can plan things better as skipper.

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik is currently in Hambantota for the Lanka Premier League.   -  Getty Images

Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to name Babar Azam as the captain for all the three formats have earned praises from the former players.

Seasoned all-rounder Shoaib Malik believes that Babar should be given a longer rope so that he can plan things better as skipper.

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“It is a great move by the PCB. They should announce him (Babar) as the captain for all the three formats for at least the next three years. He can then make his own teams for different formats. Providing confidence to your captain and the players should be the first priority. Then, we can expect consistent results from him," Malik said on Wednesday.

Babar Azam.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

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"He has been performing so well in all three formats, I would want to see him doing the same in captaincy as well...”

Malik is currently in Hambantota for the Lanka Premier League (LPL), and he expressed disappointment for not being part of the Pakistan squad that is touring New Zealand. “If I am not part of the national team, I don’t know what to say. Only the chief selector can answer this, I had no idea. There wasn’t any communication from them,” Malik said.

“I do not want to go into the negative side, I just want to stay positive. I have the opportunity to play the LPL and the sole focus is on the league. I have played enough cricket and you can only focus on whatever is there in your hands.”

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Considered one of the top performers in the shorter version of the game, Malik could play an important role in the Pakistan team, leading up to the T20 World Cup next year. “I am not doing something special to prepare myself for the World Cup. For me, any game is like a World Cup game,” he said.

There are ‘no thoughts of quitting this format’ yet.

“It’s more about how you are mentally strong. You get confidence from the team management, from the captain, but at the end of the day, it is your own responsibility on how you get ready for an event. You go and play in different parts of the world, in different conditions, and you have to stay strong and positive.”

According to him, the best way to handle pressure is by ‘talking to yourself and telling your mind that this is what you have to do’.

“I have played all over the world, and have (realised that) staying fit is most important. I am training hard and have no intentions of even thinking of retiring from this format so far. But let’s see how it goes…” the 38-year-old said.

In the LPL, Malik has featured in three games so far, scoring only 59 runs for the Jaffna Stallions.

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