Newly-appointed head of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s cricket committee Mohsin Khan believes that the pressure of being captain of the Pakistan national cricket team is taking its toll on Sarfraz Ahmed.
Khan is of the belief that Sarfraz should give up the Test captaincy and only concentrate on the limited overs formats. “I have said it before and I will say it now too. With Sarfraz I was saying you got a new guy in, don't put the burden of three formats on him,” Khan said speaking to Hum News on Tuesday.
“It will take such a physical load on him, T20s, ODIs and then Tests if he is captain he will not get any mental relaxation. I had said make him T20 and ODI captain and in Tests, put in a senior player for a year, year-and-a-half which will give him (Sarfraz) time, allow him to relax and groom himself as a leader, to get some confidence.
“Sarfraz's body language was so down (in the Asia Cup). I felt sorry for him that he's had so much pressure put on him, with T20s, ODIs and Tests. There's no doubt he is so talented and it's not as if he is 35-36. He is young, he has a lot of time. That was my view before and it is now as well.”
Even though Sarfraz led Pakistan to Test and T20I series wins against Australia, Khan believes that the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand will determine how well Sarfraz can deal with pressure.
“This New Zealand series, it has Tests, ODIs and T20s, it will give us a better picture of how much mentally stronger Sarfraz has become,” he said.
“I will repeat - I only say this because he is still young and he doesn't need this much pressure on him. He needs some relief time because wicketkeeping itself is such a difficult job.”
Khan said that while the final decision on whether Sarfraz will be relieved of Test captaincy will be made by PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, he will put forward the suggestion.
“I have spoken to Ehsan Mani, the final decision will of course be his but I will give him the suggestion. Whatever suggestions I give, it will not be out of personal interest. I will only suggest those things that will help make Pakistan better on or off the field,” Khan concluded.