Captaincy can be a hard job for any player, especially if you have to assume the leadership of teams like India and Pakistan. The fans are especially demanding and always expect the team to do well in all conditions. Therefore, it is no surprise that Pakistan have had 34 Test captains in their 75-year history.
Amongst these 34 players, the likes of Imran Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Javed Miandad have had the opportunity to lead the team for a good number of years with success. On the other hand, great players like Zaheer Abbas and Hanif Mohammad have wilted under the pressure, emphasising the fact that great players do not always make great leaders.
In this article, we look at the all of the Pakistan Test captains and their accomplishments so far
1. Abdul Hafeez Kardar
Abdul Hafeez Kardar captained Pakistan in their first ever Test match in 1952. He captained Pakistan in 23 matches, winning 6, losing 6 and drawing 11. He captained Pakistan for 6 years, from 1952 up to 1958.
2. Fazal Mahmood
Fast bowler Fazal Mahmood was named as the replacement of Abdul Hafeez Kardar. He captained the side for 10 matches, winning 2, losing 2 and drawing 6. He was the captain for a duration of 2 years, from 1959 to 1961.
- Imtiaz Ahmed
Imtiaz Ahmed captained the side for only 4 matches. Pakistan failed to win a match under his captaincy as they lost 2 and drew 2. He captained the side from 1959 to 1962.
- Javed Burki
Cousin of Majid Khan, Javed Burki was named as Pakistan’s captain as the replacement of Imtiaz Ahmed. Burki didn’t fare any better though, he captained the side for 5 matches, losing 4 and drawing 1. His tenure was abysmal and was removed from the captaincy shortly after.
- Hanif Mohammad
Little master Hanif Mohammad took the charge of the side. He captained the side for three years, from 1964 to 1967. Pakistan played 11 matches under his captaincy, winning only 2, losing 2 and drawing 7.
- Saeed Ahmed
Saeed Ahmed was named as the captain in 1969. He only lasted for three matches as Pakistan lost all 3 of them.
- Intikhab Alam
Intikhab Alam came in next and stayed captain for six years, from 1969 to 1975. His record as captain was nothing to be proud of though, losing 5, drawing 11 and winning only once in 17 matches.
- Majid Khan
One of the finest batsmen of that era, Majid Khan was named captained due to Intikhab’s absence in 1973. He captained the side for only three matches, losing all three.
- Mushtaq Mohammad
Mushtaq Mohammad was next in line and captained the side for three years, from 1976-1979. He completely transformed the side. Pakistan played 19 matches under him, winning 8, losing 4 and drawing 7.
- Wasim Bari
Wicket-keeper Wasim Bari captained the side during Mushatq’s absence. Pakistan played 6 matches under his captaincy, losing 2 and drawing 4.
- Asif Iqbal
One of the most underrated batsmen in Pakistan’s history, Asif Iqbal was named as Pakistan’s captain in 1979. He didn’t last long as well. His record was identical to Wasim Bari’s, losing 2, drawing 4 in his 6 matches.
- Javed Miandad
Arguably the best batsman in Pakistan’s history, Javed Miandad was much more than a batsman, his street smartness was apparent and he was named as the captain of the national team. Pakistan played 34 matches under his captaincy, winning 14, losing 6 and drawing 14 – one of the most successful captains in Pakistan’s history.
- Imran Khan
Next came in the flamboyant Imran Khan. Widely regarded as Pakistan’s best ever captain. He captained the side for 48 matches from 1982 to 1992. Under his captaincy, Pakistan did win the 92 World Cup, but that was another format. Pakistan won 14, lost 8 and drew 26 matches under the reign of Imran.
- Zaheer Abbas
The Asian Bradman captained the side for 14 matches. He may have been a terrific batsman but his captaincy skills were less than impressive. Pakistan won 3, lost 1 and drew 10 matches under his captaincy.
- Wasim Akram
Left-arm pacer Wasim Akram was next, captaining the side for 25 matches, from 1993 to 1999. Wasim proved to be a solid choice, registering 12 wins, drawing 5 and losing 8. A 48% win rate was highest up until this point.
- Waqar Younis
Fellow fast bowler Waqar Younis had an even better record than Wasim. Captaining the side for 17 matches, Pakistan won 10 and lost 7. A win percentage of 58.82.
- Saleem Malik
Middle-order batsman Saleem Malik was named as the captain and his performance was stellar. Pakistan won 7, lost 3 and drew 2 under his reign of 12 matches.
- Rameez Raja
Ramiz Raja was Pakistan’s 18th Test captain, he may have been a solid opener, but he wasn’t a solid captain. Pakistan won 1, lost 2 and drew 2 in his 5 matches as captain.
- Saeed Anwar
One of the finest openers in the history of the game but he was out of his depth as captain. He captained the side for 7 matches, winning 1, losing 4 and drawing 2.
- Aamir Sohail
Anwar’s opening partner Aamir Sohail was next in line, he did’t fare much better than Anwar. Winning just once, losing twice and drawing thrice in 6 matches.
- Rashid Latif
Wicket-keeper Rashid Latif captained the side for 6 matches as well. Pakistan won 4, lost 1 and drew 1 under his captaincy.
- Moin Khan
Fellow wicket-keeper Moin Khan came in next. He captained the side for 13 matches, winning 4, losing 2 and drawing 7.
After a string of captains, Inzamam-ul-Haq brought stability to the side. He captained the team for 31 matches, winning 11 and losing 11, while drawing 9. After his departure, Pakistan changed five more captains until Misbah was appointed.
- Mohammad Yousuf
Yousuf stayed as captain for only 9 matches. Winning 2, losing 6, including a 5-0 whitewash in Australia and drawing one.
- Younis Khan
Younis came in next and at first it looked like that he could be the man to lead Pakistan for a long time, but that didn’t last too long as well. He also captained for 9 matches, winning 1, drawing 5 and losing 3.
- Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik was named as the next captain, he only lasted for 3 matches. Losing 2 and drawing 1.
- Shahid Afridi
Then came in Shahid Afridi. Afridi made the record for the shortest reign as captain of Pakistan. He only lasted for one match, before announcing his retirement mid-series. Pakistan lost the match to Australia.
- Salman Butt
Salman Butt was named as his replacement. It looked like a genius move at first as he registered a win against Australia, Pakistan’s first win against them in 15 years. His reign was cut short due to the infamous spot fixing scandal. He captained the side for 5 matches, winning 2 and losing 3.
Then came in Misbah-ul-Haq, the longest serving captain in Pakistan’s history. Misbah took over the team after the spot-fixing scandal and brought much needed stability. His performances were extraordinary as he took Pakistan to the summit of Test rankings. He captained the side for 56 matches, winning 26, losing 19 and drawing 11.
- Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez captained the side for one match due to Misbah’s absence. Pakistan lost the match.
- Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali captained the side in two stints. He captained the side for 9 matches, winning just 2, losing 4 and drawing 3. He is the latest causality as Babar has been named as the replacement.
- Sarfaraz Ahmed
Wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed lost his spot as the captain of the side last year. He captained the side in 13 matches, winning 4, losing 8 and drawing 4.
33. Mohammad Rizwan
The 33rd Test captain of Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan took control of the side in the tour of New Zealand due to injury to Babar Azam
34. Babar Azam
The 34th Test captain of Pakistan, Babar Azam has taken control of Pakistan National Team.