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T20 World Cup 2024: Babar Azam's return to Captaincy -Ricky Ponting weighs in on Pakistan's prospects this WC

Babar Azam has been reinstated as Pakistan's captain for the 2024 T20 World Cup, less than a year after resigning from all-format captaincy. Cricket legend Ricky Ponting believes Babar's second stint may be more successful, shedding light on the challenges and growth required in the role. 

T20 World Cup 2024: Babar Azam's return to Captaincy -Ricky Ponting weighs in on Pakistan's prospects this WC osf
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First Published Jun 5, 2024, 8:48 PM IST

Less than a year after stepping down from captaincy in all formats, Babar Azam has been reinstated as Pakistan's captain for the 2024 T20 World Cup. Babar, the country's leading batsman, had resigned after Pakistan failed to reach the knockouts of the 2023 ODI World Cup. Now, he finds himself back in the leadership role, bearing the weight of expectations from a nation of 230 million. Ricky Ponting, one of cricket's most successful captains, believes this time could be different for Babar.

Speaking to the ICC, Ponting explained the intricacies of captaincy, noting that it doesn't always suit the best players. "Captaincy sits better with some players more than others," said Ponting. He highlighted the importance of captains looking beyond their own performance to focus on the entire team's improvement.

"The thing that makes some of the very best players so good is how focused they are on what they need to do to get better and to be the best, finding a way every day to improve," Ponting added. "But captains can't do that. You've got to compartmentalize, look after your own game, and take care of all the guys around you," stressed the 2003 and 2007 ODI World Cup-winning captain.

Ponting suggested that Babar might have struggled with this balance during his first stint as captain. "When he first started, I had the feeling his numbers went down because of it," he said. However, Ponting believes that Babar may have learned from his initial experience, which could lead to a more successful second term starting with the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Pakistan has not been in the best form leading up to the tournament. However, with a crucial match against India on June 9, Babar has an excellent opportunity to prove that the Pakistan Cricket Board made the right decision by reinstating him as captain.

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