Journey of Sarfraz Ahmed to Test captaincy

Journey of Sarfraz Ahmed to Test captaincy
Shukriya Pakistan

Sarfraz Ahmed born on May 22, 1987 is Pakistan’s captain in all three formats of the game and he has a significant feat to his name that he has led the Men in Green to their first ever Champions Trophy title.

Sarfraz Ahmed, who is also a Hafiz-e-Quran, captained Pakistan U-19 team during World Cup 2006. Under his captaincy and the heroics of Anwar Ali, Pakistan successfully defended a low total of 109 runs in the final against India.

Later, Sarfraz was called as replacement for an injured Kamran Akmal during a series against India in 2007. The U-19 hero made his ODI debut against the arch-rivals on November 18, 2007

He was part of Pakistani team in 2008, but was dropped due to his failures with the bat and did not play a single game from July 2008 till the start of 2010. In that year, he made his Test debut against Australia at Perth and played just a single 50-over game. He also made his T20 debut against England at Dubai in the same year.

Sarfraz Ahmed played ODIs for Pakistan in 2011 and 2012, but did not play in Whites or in T20 internationals for Pakistan during the span. He returned to the side in 2013. He shone brightly in 2014 for Pakistan in all three formats of the game with the bat, but could not cement his place in the team.

He was taken to World Cup 2015, but did not give a go in early matches. As soon as he was given an opportunity, he struck a 49 and a century in the first two games he played. Since then, he has become an integral part of the team. In 2016, when Shahid Afridi stepped down after Pakistan’s a disastrous World T20 campaign, Sarfraz was named as his successor. Pakistan won six consecutive games under his captaincy.

He was termed as an impressive thinking captain, the kind of captain Pakistan needed. He was backed by legends and pundits to wear the captaincy band in ODI cricket as well, which was awarded by the board to Azhar Ali following Misbah Ul Haq’s retirement from 50-over format after World Cup 2015.

Azhar Ali was impressive in an individual capacity, but he failed to produce any significant results for the side as a captain. After Pakistan’s tour to Australia, Sarfraz Ahmed was named ODI captain as well and Azhar Ali was dropped from the team.

Giving Sarfraz Ahmed the captaincy of the ODI team proved fruitful as he led the lowest ranked team of the Champions Trophy to win the tournament. Pakistan destroyed a much stronger Indian team in the final to claim the title. He was aggressive, he was positive and he had complete backing of the board and management.

On Tuesday, Shaharyar Khan, while addressing the reception for the champion team at Prime Minister House, announced that they have decided give captaincy of all three formats of the game to Sarfraz Ahmed.

Sarfraz has so far scored 2,089, 1,644 and 359 runs in Test, ODIs and T20is respectively. He has led Pakistan to seven wins in both ODIs and T20is in 9 and 8 games that he has captained respectively.