T20 World Cup 2024: Watch: Babar Azam drops bomb on selection of Azam Khan and Shadab Khan amid criticism

Azam Khan, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan

Pakistan national cricket team’s wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan and star all-rounder Shadab Khan have faced criticism for their poor performances during their team’s 0-2 loss in the T20I series in England ahead of the next ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and the Caribbean.

Azam and Shadab’s current form is the biggest concern for the Men in Green ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, where they will open their campaign against co-hosts the United States on June 6 in Texas.

Babar Azam endorses Azam Khan and Shadab Khan

Not only on the England tour, they were also out of form on the Ireland tour. Talking about the four-match T20I series, two matches were canceled due to rain, with only the second and fourth T20Is being played, with England winning both games to seal the series at home on May 30.

While Shadab went wicketless in both games and scored three runs, Azam made 11 runs in the second T20I while he was caught for a duck in the last game at the Oval. Azam Khan, son of former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, has been heavily criticized for his poor performance not only with the bat but also behind the stumps.

He missed some easy catches and dropped crucial ones too, and no wonder, thanks to his poor fitness level. After their grim show, former cricketers, fans and media have been calling for Azam and Shadab to be dropped from Pakistan’s squad, questioning their selection for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Babar Azam responds to criticism over team selection for 2024 T20 World Cup

However, Pakistan captain Babar Azam defended the selection of Azam and Shadab for the tournament, emphasizing that each player chosen is based on their merits and they will continue to support them. The classy batsman further pointed out that media criticism often arises when a player struggles, raising questions about his selection.

However, when the same player excels, there are calls for his inclusion in the Pakistan team, so all the stories are cooked up in the media, and that has nothing to do with his selection and plans for the tournament.

Babar emphasized the importance of supporting the selected players, saying that decisions are made with confidence in their abilities and that they cannot be left alone because of some of their bad days on the field. He has also criticized the media for exaggerating things and questioning the players’ form.

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“All players are based on merit. Look, when some player is not performing, we feel that we have been selected poorly. These are the things you do and you are the ones who excel at these things. When you show good performance, I say why don’t you join the team,” he said.

However, after the T20I series loss to England, Babar criticized his middle-order batsmen and asked them to step up as he expected a better performance in the 2024 T20 World Cup.

The Pakistan captain said in the post-match press conference: “We played very well in the first six overs. After that, the momentum changed as wickets fell. Our middle order must step up. You need 2-3 good overs in the middle and also at the death. England’s bowling was very good. I hope we don’t do this in the World Cup.”