Azhar's ODI place 'on shaky ground', says PCB chairman
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said Azhar Ali's place in the country's one-day side is "on shaky ground", despite the fact the top-order batsman currently captains the team.
Azhar was asked to consider resigning after Pakistan were trounced 4-1 by England in the 50-over format in September.
The 31-year-old chose to stay on and duly oversaw a 3-0 series victory over West Indies, but it appears that has not convinced the PCB.
On the eve of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia in Brisbane, Shaharyar told ESPNCricinfo. "We are more than happy with Azhar as a player, human being and a person. But his leadership skills have not given us confidence and his place in the ODI side is on shaky ground.
"It is also a fact that we had left it up to him to step down as captain during the England series but after a collective decision we decided to allow him to carry on for the West Indies series.
"It's really tough to make a decision after a captain won it 3-0, but still I believe it's purely Azhar's own decision to let it go and he earlier refused to relinquish his captaincy."
Twenty20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been tipped by Shaharyar as a potential successor to both Azhar and veteran Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who will turn 43 in May.
"Sarfraz is a strong option because we might even consider him for all three formats as captain," Shaharyar added.
"In our culture, it is always best to have one captain for all three formats in Pakistan cricket and historically it works for us.
"Misbah is a top-class captain and performer and has led the side well. Even at 42, he is super fit and I told him recently it was his decision when to retire.
"But we have also made our mind on possible back-ups if the tour does not go well."