LONDON - Former Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has advised the men in green to not look to replace Sarfraz Ahmed as captain, saying continuity in the main formats’ leadership is crucial as teams gear up for the World Cup in England next year, reported Sport360.

Sarfraz has been urged by many former players to move away from the Test format and recharge his batteries so that he can be in top shape for white-ball cricket. Sarfraz is the wicketkeeper batsman and captain for Pakistan in all three formats and a difficult year for the men in green has seen Sarfraz lose his support base.

Pakistan were embarrassed at the Asia Cup in the UAE before losing the ‘home’ Test series to New Zealand. However, Whatmore said it is unfair to suggest that Sarfraz needs to step aside in formats like Test cricket. “It’s easy to say things like that. Sarfraz has been a successful captain. Maybe in T20s as he can have a break. But it’s nice to have consistency in leadership. I can’t see that changing,” Whatmore told Sport360. “(Coach) Mickey Arthur would also prefer to have a common leader in those two formats so I don’t see a change.”

The focus of Pakistan, and other teams, this season is the build-up to the World Cup in England next year and Whatmore believes there are many teams that can be termed as favourites. “A lot of favourites in there. England are one. But I am not sure. Statistics says only one team has won the World Cup in home conditions, and that is India. England will certainly figure. One team that flies under the radar is New Zealand. They have strong belief in their abilities, play well together,” Whatmore said. “Another team that could embarrass a few are Afghanistan. Their bowling attack is tremendous. If the batsmen get some decent runs, they could embarrass a few teams.”