Ahead of the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was asked if relinquishing his captaincy duties in Test cricket could help him succeed as an excellent batter in international cricket. However, Babar shut down a journalist with a terse reply.
“I think we are having a white ball series now, and the Test matches are over. So if you have any questions about this white ball series, ask about that,” Babar shot back on Sunday.
When probed again on whether his captaincy was affecting his batting and leading to a poor record at home, Babar did not mince his words and said, “I don’t have to justify myself to anyone. I know how I am doing. My focus is on performing well for Pakistan”.
“In white-ball formats, we have performed well, and we want to continue with that momentum against New Zealand, although we know they are a perfect side, and it will be a tough series for both teams,” he added.
Stating that he and his team are focusing on the upcoming ODI series, Babar added that the men in green are not getting distracted by the sudden shakeup of the Pakistan Cricket Board setup.
He made it clear he had no issues with the interim chief selector Shahid Afridi on the selection of players and said he and the head coach gave input and outlined their plans to the selectors regularly and in meetings.
“I think we are on the same page that is important. We have our best bowlers back and hopefully, we can do well against New Zealand.”
Former PCB chairman Najam Sethi returned to lead the new 14-member management committee of the board after the government removed Ramiz Raja and also repealed the body’s constitution in the aftermath of Pakistan’s 3-0 loss to England in a test series last week.
Shahid Afridi was named interim chief selector, and the flamboyant former Pakistan captain immediately beefed up the 16-member squad for the test series against New Zealand by adding three more bowlers.