HomeCricketWorld Cup: Jos Buttler safe, focus on Babar Azam - Times of...

World Cup: Jos Buttler safe, focus on Babar Azam – Times of India

ECB sticks with Jos as skipper for limited overs tour of Windies; despite backlash at home, team stands firmly behind Pakistan captain
KOLKATA: Jos Buttler has survived the shuffle in the England team following a disappointing World Cup, but Babar Azam‘s status is still not clear. Facing huge backlash back home in Pakistan – perhaps unnecessary as they had finished fifth in the 2019 World Cup too – there have been indications that Babar might quit captaincy.Teammates have rallied behind Babar with vice-captain Shadab Khan calling for a change in culture where the skipper is squarely blamed for failure.
“This should change,” Shadab said after their 93-run defeat to England here on Saturday. The all-rounder, who did not have a great tournament himself, is one of the players tipped to succeed Babar in case the latter resigns. “I am disappointed that I could not live up to the potential as a bowler and that affected our performance,” he admitted.
Pakistan team’s director Mickey Arthur too spoke of disappointments all around. He too came out with support for Babar. “He is a great batter and is still learning as captain,” Arthur said. “He is growing and you do make mistakes while doing that. It’s not a crime to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.”
Arthur wants Pakistan Cricket Board to be patient with the skipper.
There have been a lot of murmurs against the current players and Arthur is aware that this “outside noise” can impact the younger one. “Our (support staff) job is to make the players turn a deaf ear to these noises,” he said.
He admitted that Pakistan are currently a few notches below where he expects them to be. “Our planning has already started and we know exactly where we need to go,” Arthur remarked.
England and Wales Cricket Board was, however, quick to act, on Sunday naming only six from the World Cup in the squad for the tour of the Caribbean. Even though Buttler remains skipper, many of his mates have been left out. One of them is 35-year-old legbreak bowler Adil Rashid. “I enjoy playing 50-overs cricket.
Hopefully, this is not my last. I want to play for as long as I can,” he had said after Saturday’s game.
Ben Stokes too does not figure in the squad of 15 which will play its first ODI against the West Indies on December 3 in Antigua. The England Test captain is scheduled to go under the scalpel for a chronic knee issue later this month. He might, in fact, decide to go back into ODI retirement.
Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone are the other players, besides Buttler, who survived the axe.

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