Former Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir has expressed concerns about the current state of the Pakistan cricket team, attributing the issues to the mindset of captain Babar Azam rather than advocating for a systemic change. Speaking on the Geo News show ‘Haarana Mana Hay,’ Amir highlighted the importance of captaincy and drew parallels with MS Dhoni’s leadership in building the Indian cricket team.
Amir dismissed recent remarks by former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja, who suggested a need for systemic changes. Amir argued, “What is the system? It is not a wall. A captain is also one of them,” emphasizing that successful campaigns in 1992, 1999, 2009 T20 World Cup, and 2017 Champions Trophy were achieved under the same system.
Comparing Babar Azam’s leadership to England’s Jos Buttler, Amir pointed out that despite being outside their system, England faced challenges. He argued that England’s success came from a change in the captain’s mindset rather than a systemic overhaul. Amir highlighted the importance of the captain’s approach, questioning decisions like not playing Abrar Ahmad and benching Fakhar after the first match.
Amir shared personal experiences, recalling instances when captaincy played a crucial role in team selection. He cited the example of 2009 T20 World Cup when captain Younis Khan fought for his inclusion despite objections from the chief selector. Additionally, he mentioned an incident during the 2017 Champions Trophy final when Sarfaraz Khan advocated for his participation over Rumman Raees.
Expressing dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s team selection, Amir emphasized that the team is well-suited for T20 but lacks suitability for ODIs, citing the dominance of T20 bowlers in the squad. Drawing a parallel with MS Dhoni’s impact on Indian cricket, Amir highlighted Dhoni’s role in nurturing players like Ravindra Jadeja without necessitating a change in the system.
In summary, Amir’s critique focuses on Babar Azam’s captaincy, advocating for a shift in mindset rather than systemic changes in the Pakistan cricket setup. He draws inspiration from MS Dhoni’s leadership style as a model for influencing positive team development.