Islamabad: Former Pakistan skipper Asif Iqbal believes that wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed should be relieved of his Test captaincy duties. While admitting that Ahmed is an “ideal captain” in the ODI and T20 format, the 75-year-old said that the team needs a more “established” person for leading their Test side.
The comment came in the backdrop of Pakistan’s 1-2 debacle at the hands of New Zealand in their recently-concluded three-match Test series in UAE.
“I understand that a few people are asking for Sarfaraz Ahmed to be removed as captain of the Pakistan side and I am one of them. Let me explain by saying that Sarfaraz is an ideal captain for Pakistan in the Twenty20 and ODI formats as he has the right sort of passion which you need for the shorter forms of the game. In Test cricket, however, the biggest challenge is to concentrate for up to five days, at all times,” PakPassion quoted Iqbal, as saying.
“I am sure many others, including Sarfaraz Ahmed, may not agree with what I have to say but in my view, he should be replaced and the Test captaincy should be handed to a batsman who is well established and can hold his place in the side. It may take a couple of years for the replacement to find his feet as Test captain and to settle down and gain confidence, but the selectors and team management need to give him that space and opportunity,” he added.
While reflecting on Pakistan’s performance against New Zealand in the Test Series, the veteran cricketer stated that the opposite side completely “outplayed” them and played better cricket.
“Before any reasons for this loss can be discussed, there is one fundamental fact that we need to accept which is that the New Zealand Test side outplayed us completely. To their extreme credit, they were playing in conditions which were alien to them and such conditions were better suited for Pakistan,” Iqbal said.
“We as fans and supporters have a habit of making excuses for losses but let’s take this one for what it is, which is that the opposition played better cricket than us,” he added.
Ahmed has played a total of 46 Test matches scoring 2545 runs with an average of 37.99 while in 98 ODIs, he has made 1894 runs with an average of 33.23.