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'Not wise to display unnecessary aggression on the field' - Babar Azam
Pakistan News

'Not wise to display unnecessary aggression on the field' - Babar Azam

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has said he is not in favour of a blatantly aggressive style of leadership, instead prioritising active support of the players during a contest.

Addressing the media on the eve of Pakistan's first Test against South Africa in Karachi, Babar claimed an overt aggressive approach did not suit him as he would try to maintain a calmer influence on the team out in the middle.

"Aggression is needed at times, but off the field, not on it. On the field, you need to back the plan given to the players," he said.

"Sometimes things don't go according to the plan, so it is important to back the boys at that instant. Displaying unnecessary aggression on the field is not wise and does not look good on television. You mostly chat with players during the drinks break and encourage them," Babar opined.

The classy batsman was appointed Pakistan's all-format captain following the sacking of Azhar Ali from the Test leadership post ahead of the New Zealand tour.

While Babar is yet to make his red-ball debut in charge of the side, he has captained Pakistan's white-ball outfit in a handful of games. The 26-year-old's presence on the field in these clashes has been in stark contrast to his predecessor Sarfaraz Ahmed, who used to be visibly animated and not reserved in scolding players for their errors.

With the South Africa series commencing on Tuesday, Babar was keen on not reading too much into their mediocre record against the Proteas.

Pakistan have only been successful in defeating South Africa in a Test series on one occasion but the upcoming series is the country's first trip to Pakistan in almost 14 years.

“We should not think about the past, we should focus on what's ahead of us,” Babar firmly stated. “It's a fact that we don't have a good record against them, but we have prepared well and we hope to give our best against them this time.”

"I missed playing for my country in the New Zealand tour after unfortunately picking up an injury. But this is a proud moment for me to make my Test captaincy debut at home," he added.

Babar's return reignites the debate about Pakistan's over-reliance on their star player given the lack of batting riches in New Zealand. However, Babar denied the existence of such an issue and expressed confidence in his team's batsmen.

"I don't think that is the case. The rest of the players are also contributing to the team. We have the examples of Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam, who gave an outstanding performance in New Zealand. My place in the team is secure because of them as we work and succeed together."

Babar believed the uncapped players in the Test squad would not be too intimidated by the South Africa assignment after showing their calibre in the domestic arena.

"There is no pressure as such on the new players since they have all been selected at the back of good domestic performances," Babar maintained.

"This is a learning stage for them and they will have to quickly equip themselves with handling pressure and building the innings. The more they learn from coaches during the match, it will be better for them."