Azhar Ali has resigned from the Pakistan’s ODI captaincy following a 4-1 drubbing by world champions Australia. Under severe pressure prior the series, the results clearly weren’t favorable for him and a need for change become apparent.
Since taking over, post the 2015 world cup, Pakistan only won 5 of their 10 bilateral series viz. two against Zimbabwe, and one each against Ireland, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. Humiliating defeats twice against England, New Zealand, and Australia in his tenure did not indicate that team was heading in the right direction.
Under Azhar, Pakistan won 12 and lost 18 games. His batting average of 38.21, which dropped to 37.19 as the captain, in the ODIs has also not been good enough. It raised serious doubts about his place in the team as a batsman.
T20 International Captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been declared as his successor. He has had a wonderful start to his captaincy career in the shortest format, with Pakistan winning all four matches they have played under his reigns so far. He missed the team’s last ODI assignment because of his mother being critically ill, which forced him to fly back home.
Sarfraz’s first assignment as ODI captain will be a series away in West Indies in April. This will be their last piece of One day cricket before the champions trophy in England. Pakistan will begin their campaign in the ICC champions trophy against India in Edgbaston on 4th June.