Any sports need consistency in policies to get the desired results. This does not only include consistency of players on the field, but also consists of the authorities controlling the sport matters.
Pakistan has a lengthy list of captains since the departure of Imran Khan back in 1992. With more than a dozen captains over the last two decades, it is safe to say that Pakistan probably had more captains leading the team than any other cricket playing country in the world over that time.
This shows inconsistency in the Pakistan Cricket Board’s behavior and policies, which seems to be a big cause for the slump in Pakistan cricket. All of this emphasizes the importance of having a young skipper, who is being groomed by the board to lead the team in the future.
This is exactly what India is doing with Virat Kohli and Sri Lanka did with Angelo Mathews. Players like Younis Khan, Misbah and Shahid Afridi are in the twilight of their careers and, hence, it is imperative for team Pakistan to find a leader who has a firm place in the team.
Pakistan always thrived under the leadership of aggressive characters, someone who can lift them up and get the best results out of them. The Likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi are the prime examples.
- Misbah becomes Pakistan's most successful captain
- Mitchell Johnson named cricketer of the year at ICC awards
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Looking at all of this, my case is that Ahmed Shehzad should be groomed as the next leader of Pakistan cricket team. Ahmed Shehzad by a margin looks like a player who is there to stay in the national team for a long time, after being consistent in all forms of the game.
We can see this clearly in the stats.In ODIs, Shehzad has an average of 38.8 in the last four years, which is superior to the averages of Umer Akmal (36.2), Hafeez (37), Younis Khan (27), Asad Shafiq (21.75) and Shahid Afridi (21.5). Only Misbah averages better than Shehzad, with average of 43.38 in ODIs in the last four years.
In Tests he has an impressive average of 47.8 and he recently scored a well manufactured century against the black caps in the first innings of the first test at Abu Dahabi.
Ahmed Shehzad comes across as a character who is aggressive yet sensible, one who has 'charisma'
In T20 internationals he is the only Pakistani batsmen to score a century, which he did against Bangladesh in a recently concluded World T20 Championship. Not only that, Shehzad showed immense ability to rise in a difficult time and when the team needs him the most.
Be it chasing 300+ against Bangladesh in Asia Cup or be it time against Australia in UAE, Shehzad proves time and again that he is mature enough to handle his aggression which he is renowned for.
Ahmed Shehzad comes across as a character who is aggressive yet sensible, one who has 'charisma', that can lift the entire team and who looks to have a mature enough mindset to take Pakistan home in crunch situations.
Pakistan is going into the World Cup without a vice-captain and Misbah, who is already over 40 years old, is bound to retire in a few years’ time. It’s about time, Pakistan should name someone like Ahmed Shehzad as their vice - captain and groom him to lead the side in the near to future come.
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