“He can replace Babar Azam as Pakistan’s ODI and T20I captain…”: Shoaib Akhtar Backs This Star As The Future Skipper Of Pakistan

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has voiced his support for Shadab Khan as a potential successor to Babar Azam as the captain of Pakistan’s ODI and T20I cricket teams. While Babar Azam currently leads the national side in all three formats, discussions about his captaincy have intensified due to the team’s performance not meeting expectations.

Shoaib Akhtar’s endorsement comes when questions are raised about whether the burden of captaincy might affect Babar Azam’s performance. Although the 28-year-old Azam continues to receive backing for now, Shoaib Akhtar believes that 24-year-old Shadab Khan could be an ideal candidate to assume the leadership role in limited-overs cricket if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decides to either share or replace the captaincy.

Shadab Khan, who captains Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), has experience leading a team. This leadership experience within the domestic T20 league has caught the attention of Shoaib Akhtar, who sees Shadab as a promising option for the white-ball captaincy.

Shoaib Akhtar was quoted by Cricket Pakistan saying, “In times to come, he is not a bad option for captaincy for Pakistan in white-ball cricket.” This statement reflects Akhtar’s confidence in Shadab’s potential to lead the team effectively in the game’s shorter formats.

While Shadab Khan’s recent performance for Pakistan has included highs and lows, his leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed. During Pakistan’s current five-match ODI series against New Zealand, Shadab contributed with both bat and ball. Meanwhile, Babar Azam maintained his consistent form with the bat.

Pakistan’s upcoming cricket schedule includes a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26, followed by the Asia Cup from August 30 to September 17, which Pakistan and Sri Lanka will jointly host.

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Pakistan Squad for Afghanistan ODI Series and 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel (Afghanistan series only), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr

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