Former Pakistan cricketer Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu has urged Pakistani players to support newly-appointed ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Pakistan’s T20I skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was elevated to lead the 50-overs team after Azhar Ali stepped down from the post on Thursday (February 9) in the aftermath of Pakistan’s 4-1 defeat in Australia.
Pakistan have endured a torrid time in the 50-overs cricket in last few years and are currently in danger of missing out on an automatic qualification spot for the 2019 World Cup as they are sitting in the eighth position on 89 points – two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies. They have somehow managed to book their place in this year’s Champions Trophy but would be keen to turn their fortunes around under their new captain.
Sarfraz, who took over as Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain last year, has done fairly well so far and Sallu has insisted that players should support their new captain for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.
“He is an aggressive player and that is the most important thing in contemporary cricket,” Sallu told PPI.
“Sarfraz led the Under-19 team to World Cup victory in 2006. He has also captained PIA and importantly at the moment Sarfraz is also leading Quetta Gladiators. He led Gladiators in the PSL’s first edition to the final,” he said.
“Now players should support Sarfraz so that Pakistan could again start giving positive results in ODIs,” he added.
The retired cricketer further said Azhar Ali is a great batsman but the added responsibility of captaincy probably had an impact on his performance. Azhar scored only two half-centuries and one hundred in his last 23 innings as captain while he hit only 37 runs in three outings during the ODI series in Australia.
On the other hand, his form in Tests has been brilliant. After scoring a triple century in Tests in October last year, the right-handed batsman carried on his good work in Australia too, where he scored 406 runs in three matches, including a century and two half-centuries.