PAK vs CAN: Shahid Afridi demands removal of Babar Azam from Pakistan team as first match

Shahid Afridi and Babar Azam

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has made some suggestions for Pakistan cricket team moving towards T20 World Cup 2024. He said team captain Babar Azam should be demoted to number 3 and Fakhar Zaman should open the batting.

The Pakistan team found themselves in the middle of nowhere in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. They started the tournament on a bad note as they faced a disappointing loss against the United States of America and were expected to find a better performance against India.

They did to some extent as they played better cricket than India for most of the game. But they failed to close out the game as they succumbed to pressure and then lost the game from the winning position at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

It is fair to say that their batsmen let them down as they failed to chase down the target after the bowlers had set up the game quite well for them. They beat India by 119 runs and then with the bat they were at 56/1. But after that things did not go as expected as they only managed 113 runs.

Shahid Afridi believes the time has come for captain Babar Azam and coach Gary Kirsten to make bold decisions. He batted for the inclusion of Salman Ali Agha and Abrar Ahmed in the team in place of Usman Khan and Shadab Khan respectively. Speaking to ICC, he explained:

“I think now is the time for Gary Kirsten and Babar Azam to make some changes. I would like to see Salman Ali Agha come in for Usman Khan and Abrar Ahmed to replace Shadab Khan.

“Above all, I think Fakhar Zaman should be promoted to open the innings alongside Mohammad Rizwan, with Babar dropping to number three. There are some difficult conversations and decisions to come, but we must remember that there is still hope: Pakistan is not yet out of the tournament.”

India have now won seven of their eight matches against Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup – Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi further spoke about the key differences between the teams and said that India was confident in itself. He also admitted that Pakistan’s batting is not working and they lack quality. He also spoke about India’s record vis-à-vis Pakistan and added that Babar Azam and Co. could not handle the pressure. He added:

“The key difference between the two teams was India’s consistency, self-belief, discipline and attitude on the field. Pakistan’s batting line-up is simply not clicking and what we saw was a weak display of power. in batting. For various reasons, this game was not about playing aggressively, but it took strategy and smart cricket to achieve the chase, and those qualities are exactly what Pakistan were missing.

“India has won seven of its eight matches against Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T.World Cup 20 and Pakistan fans are very disappointed. On big days you have to have nerves of steel to get ahead. “India remained positive and calm until the last ball and Babar Azam’s team did not handle the pressure of the chase well.”

Pakistan will next be seen in action when they take on Canada on June 11.