In cricket, the role of a captain is arguably the most important in the playing 11. A great captain makes a great team. The tactics, field placements, utilization of bowlers can turn a weak inexperienced team into champions of the World with the 1992 World cup being the prime example.
But not only the captaincy the individual performance of the captain plays an equally important role. The fate of a team is significantly dependent on the competence of the captain as an individual player.
Over the years players like Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni have raised the bar for captains to be not only great leaders but the best players of the teams too.
With the National T20 cup 2021 on the horizon let’s take a look at the recent performances of the captains of National T20 teams and how much will their team depend on them performing.
Recent performance = PSL 2021
Innings 10 | Runs 321 | Average 45.85 | 50s 3 | SR 137.76
After disappointing form for few years, the leader of arguably the most dominant Pakistani T20I team Sarfraz Ahmed finally regained his form with the bat in the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League. Despite Quetta’s disastrous run as a unit and despite failures in both bowling and batting one thing remained constant Sarfraz’s consistency with the bat for Quetta Gladiators.
With Sarfraz getting dropped from the World cup squad despite many expecting him to be the backup keeper. Quetta Gladiators failing to qualify for the playoffs two years in a row and Sindh failing to qualify last year has left a huge question mark whether Sarfraz can still lead a team.
This season of National T20 can prove to be a great opportunity for Sarfraz to regain the attention of selectors and a great opportunity for the fans to see Sarfraz still got it as a captain.
Recent T20 performance = PSL 2021
Innings 6 | Runs 107 | Average 17 | SR 109
The weakest captain on paper of the weakest team on paper. Despite him scoring consistently with the bat in the One Day Internationals (ODI) Imam-Ul-Haq has suffered a severe dip in form as a T20 batsman. Despite having a great PSL 2019 Imam has failed to replicate that success in T20 cricket in the last two years. Individually Imam had a good National t20 last year but was not able to impact his team’s performance. With a relatively weak batting line-up, Balochistan will be hoping Imam regains his form as a t20 player as a lot depend on the performance of their captain.
This player and his T20 form in the recent past do not require any introduction. Before the start of National T20 2020, Sohaib’s playing future was not looking so good but last year’s National T20 turned out to be a fortunate turner for the new captain of Southern Punjab. After having a great National T20 Sohaib went on to become the man of the tournament in Pakistan’s premier T20 league PSL. After a good showing in the recently concluded KPL Sohaib solidified his place as the permanent one-down player for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.
Southern Punjab had a disastrous start last year but they were able to make a miraculous comeback after players like Husain Talat, Sohaib Maqsood, and Khushdill Shah stepped up their game. This year Southern Punjab will play without a few of their most important players like Shan Masood and Hussain Talat which means a lot more responsibility for the captain of Southern Punjab. Having a lot of exciting but young and inexperienced talent Southern Punjab will be hoping that their captain continues his merry way.
The star player of Northern last year with both bat and ball Shadab Khan has been appointed as the full-time captain of Northern. Last year with the bat Shadab Khan scored 237 runs for Northern at an average of almost 40 and a strike rate of 160 and took 15 wickets in the 10 innings with the ball which makes the importance of Shadab Khan on the the the Northern side quite clear. Not only National T20 after a few years of the slump in International cricket Shadab finally seems like he is regaining some momentum in International cricket too. With this renewed form and confidence the former champions Northern might benefit greatly from their captain.
In the year 2021 with the bat in T20I Internationals:
Innings 14 | Runs 752 | Average 94 | Strike Rate 140 | Century 1 | Half Centuries 7
Arguably the best T20I Wicket-keeper batsman in the World and the conversation of the best T20 batsman in the world right now. The captain and leading run-scorer of the PSL 2021 winning team. One of the best players and captain of the National T20 2020 winning team. From National T20 cup 2020 to National T20 2021 there is not much that Mohammad Rizwan has not achieved in T20 cricket. Last year this time of the year Rizwan’s notorious image as a T20 batsman started to change when the National T20 cup started. Since then Rizwan has been an unstoppable force of nature in the shortest format of the game. Last National T20 Rizwan played a major part in securing the win for the current champions and despite having one of the strongest sides in the tournament Rizwan will have to play a major part as the captain and best player for them to retain their trophy.
We don’t feel the need to go through his stats to know he is arguably the best white ballplayer in the World of professional cricket right now. The captain of Pakistan’s National T20I team Babar Azam will represent already the strongest team in the tournament Central Punjab making it a little too difficult for other teams to stand up to them. But despite this Central Punjab once failed to perform despite having a team full of experienced and talented players and Babar in the year 2019 which let us know the importance of Babar in the team. Despite having experienced players like Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz and talented players like Qasim Akram and Usman Qadir Central Punjab will need the best version of Babar to win the tournament.