'I want to adopt the Imran Khan style' - Babar Azam reveals his captaincy ambitions
Pakistan's newly appointed white-ball skipper Babar Azam is hopeful of emulating Imran Khan's style of captaincy in the forthcoming international assignments.
The talismanic batsman has swiftly acquired a crucial role in the national set-up after dominating the run charts for his team over the past few years.
Now faced with the challenge of leading a side plagued with various problems, Babar has declared his priority to help Pakistan climb up in the ODI rankings where they currently languish at the sixth spot.
"I've captained the U19 as well as the T20I team in the past," the 25-year-old told reporters in a media interaction.
"When I look at our rankings in the formats, it is not acceptable for me and my task is to bring that up to the top three. PCB thought I was ready (for the job) and they gave it to me. I'm ready," he was quoted as saying by ICC.
The world No. 1 T20I batsman desired to follow the footsteps of 1992 World Cup-winning skipper Imran Khan, identifying controlled aggression and discipline as the key features of the legendary cricketer's captaincy template.
Imran Khan most famously led an unfancied Pakistan unit to glory 28 years ago as he dubbed his squad a group of 'cornered tigers' fighting against their rivals.
"When you are captaining, you need to have a bit of a cool mind, you've to carry your team along, you've to be methodical with your plans against the opposition to get them out," Babar said.
"You have to be a little controlled, inside you may feel angry but you have to be in control. I learnt this in under-19 [cricket]. In the ground, you may have to tone down the aggression and give the players confidence.
"If you back your players 110%, they'll do that well. I want to be an attacking captain. I want to adopt the Imran Khan style."
Babar is easily Pakistan's most valued cricketer at the moment given his imperious form in all formats. He was thus quick to discard all doubts of the added responsibility of captaincy having a detrimental impact on his batting.
"I'm a fan of challenges. Captaincy and batting are a little different. When you are batting, you are just focussing on batting and not thinking about captaincy."
"It's only when you are done with batting that you start thinking about team performance. My aim is to continue performing the same way even as captain."