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Babar Azam is the spine of the Pakistan group: Shahid Afridi

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Pakistan Cricket Board’s interim chief selector Shahid Afridi on Saturday mentioned that he’ll again captain Babar Azam and can attempt to enhance the “bench strength” throughout his tenure.

“Babar Azam hamari team ka backbone hai (Babar Azam is the backbone of our team). He is one of our top performers. I liked it when he challenged the New Zealand team for the chase. And as a selection committee, we want to be a shoulder for him and support him,” Afridi instructed reporters.

“Also, I liked what he said in the post-match presser after the draw. He said the team is focusing on cricket and is unaware of what is being said outside. So, Babar should focus on the game only. The selection committee will always support him to come up with better combinations so that he feels confident on the field,” he added.

Afridi additionally mentioned that his purpose is to enhance bench energy.

“I want to create two teams for Pakistan before my tenure ends in order to improve bench strength,” he mentioned.

Afridi additionally identified that the “communication gap” within the Pakistan cricket is a giant concern. He mentioned: “The major problem that I’ve observed here is the communication gap among management, doctors and selection committee. It is important for a chief selector – be it me or someone else – to stay in direct contact with players. When I spoke to Haris and Fakhar, I got to know the better picture and I invited them to the fitness Test.”

Afridi additionally lamented former administration for getting ready poor pitches. “It will be something where bowlers will get some support and batters will also enjoy their stay, there will be some bounce on the wicket. We can not become a top team by playing on these wickets. The wickets on which we’ve been playing are injurious to our bowlers, pacers will start having fitness issues and spinners will injure their fingers.” mentioned Shahid Afridi.

“Who says we can not produce better wickets in Pakistan? We certainly can if we are allowed to do so. One thing is that our academies are not working for last 8 months, it is important that we keep them running for our domestic and under-19 performers. I will try to start a camp there for all such youngsters.” he added.

After the primary match led to a draw, the second Test of the two-match collection will begin from Monday at National Stadium in Karachi.