Pakistan’s newly appointed T20I captain Babar Azam is inspired by the modern greats Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli and wants to emulate them as captains in his first international assignment as a leader in the Australian series.
Azam took over the captain of Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was disassociated from his T20I and test leadership positions earlier this month and subsequently removed from the upcoming tour to Australia.
The 25-year-old received the vice-captaincy for the T20I domestic series against Sri Lanka, where the hosts lost each of the three games played in Lahore. Also, Azam failed with the racket and contributed with only 13, 3 and 27 points. However, the # 1 batsman in the T20I scoring of the ICC men of MRF Tires admitted that it was not the vice-captain who influenced his individual performance.
“People have judged in three games [against Sri Lanka] that my performance has suffered because I was the vice-captain,” said Azam on Friday, October 25. Cricket has ups and downs, and that was a bad series for us, no question, I give 120% to the team in each match, and I do not understand why I would put extra pressure on myself just because I am the captain, I will continue to play as I always have, and I’m sure the performances will come.
“Besides, not only do I think I’m happy to play regardless of the results, I’m trying to get some performance out of my team and my individual performances, I look at current captains like Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli and how good their own form I’ll try to emulate them, “he added.
The series against Australia in their backyard would be a challenge for Pakistan, but Azam, who had collected 286 runs from five ODIs on the previous 2016-17 tour, relies on his previous experience and looks forward to the new role and the series.
“Every tour is tough and Australia is always a challenge for the extra rebound, but we will fight for victory as always,” he said. “I traveled to Australia three years ago as a skipper of Pakistan U19 (2012) and with the Pakistani team, so I have experience with these conditions.”
Pakistan will play three T20Is against Australia on 3, 5 and 8 November, followed by two tests later this month.