Babar Azam confirmed as Pakistan's new ODI skipper
Babar Azam has been named Pakistan's white-ball captain after being handed the reins of the ODI side as well. The premier top-order batsman succeeds Sarfaraz Ahmed as the team's ODI leader after the latter was removed from the post following the 2019 World Cup.
Babar's rapid rise in world cricket has seen him stamp his authority across formats as he remains the only batsman to be ranked in the top-five in all three forms of the game at the moment.
Babar was earlier appointed Pakistan's T20I skipper ahead of the Australia tour last year, where his team fared poorly and was humiliated 0-2 in the three-match series. Later, he earned his first series victory in charge of the side after defeating Bangladesh 2-0 at home in January.
"The Pakistan Cricket Board confirms Azhar Ali as Test and Babar Azam as ODI and T20I captains for the period during which Pakistan is scheduled to play nine Tests, six ODIs and 20 T20Is, besides the Asia Cup and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020," the PCB stated in a media release.
Pakistan's ODI assignments during this period include three 50-over clashes in South Africa in September and another three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in November.
Pakistan's head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq asserted that the PCB made the right decision in extending the leadership tenures of Test skipper Azhar Ali and his white-ball counterpart Babar.
"I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions," he said.
"This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels."