Danish Kaneria, Pakistan's former spinner, feels that the forthcoming T20 World Cup will be Babar Azam's final opportunity to prosper as the country's captain. Babar, Pakistan's No. 1 batsman and skipper, was heavily criticized for his decisions in the Asia Cup where they ended up as runner-ups.
For a while, Babar Azam has been having a torrid time with the bat and his many decisions as Pakistan's captain during the recently-concluded Asia Cup were questionable as well. In six matches in the tournament, Babar could only aggregate a paltry 68 runs, that too at a poor strike rate. Looking at his current form, former Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria reckons the forthcoming T20 World Cup, taking place in Australia, could be Babar's final opportunity to flourish as the skipper.
Speaking on his Youtube channel, Kaneria also remarked Mohammad Rizwan's strike rate needs to be better as well. With 281 runs, Rizwan finished as the tournament's top-scorer but his slow 49-ball 55 in the final cost his team heavily. Kaneria also suggested Babar to take a break for a while to regain his form.
"Babar Azam is out of form. Several questions have also been raised about his captaincy. I think this will be his last chance as captain. He will be under tremendous pressure because if this team doesn't do well, it will lead to his exit as captain. He is undoubtedly a great player. However, I don't feel that he has backed the right team," Kaneria said on his Youtube channel.
"Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam's strike rates at the top are a concern. They haven't been able to utilize the field restrictions early on and have failed to set up a platform for the other batters. Babar can't just think about his own batting but should keep the team at the forefront. He must understand that if he isn't able to score as an opener, then some other player should replace him in that position. He can drop himself down to the No. 3 position. They can try this out against England as Rizwan has been rested for those matches."
Pakistan will begin the 2022 T20 World Cup campaign by going up against arch-rivals India on October 23 at Melbourne Cricket Ground.