Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi criticized skipper Babar Azam after Pakistan’s narrow 6-run loss to India in the T20 World Cup, suggesting Babar drop down the batting order to number three.

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi expressed his disappointment following Pakistan’s narrow 6-run loss to India in the T20 World Cup on Sunday, criticizing skipper Babar Azam’s performance. Pakistan, having lost to the USA and India, now faces a must-win game against Canada on Tuesday to stay in the tournament.

Despite India’s initial strong start, their batting collapsed to 119 runs, thanks to Pakistan’s pacers. However, Pakistan’s chase also faltered as Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya’s bowling led to their defeat.

Shahid Afridi suggested changes to the team, recommending that Salman Ali Agha replace Usman Khan and Abrar Ahmed take Shadab Khan’s place. He particularly criticized Babar Azam, suggesting he be moved down the batting order to number three, promoting Fakhar Zaman to open with Mohammad Rizwan.

“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 into the side in place of Usman Khan and Abrar Ahmed to come in for Shadab Khan,” Afridi said when speaking to the ICC.

“Most of all, I believe Fakhar Zaman should be promoted to open the innings alongside Mohammad Rizwan, with Babar dropping down to number three. There are some tough conversations and choices to come but we need to remember that there is still hope: Pakistan are not out of the tournament yet,” he added.

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Notably, Afridi attributed India’s win to their consistency, self-belief, discipline, and attitude on the field. He criticized Pakistan’s batting for not clicking and described it as a weak display of power hitting.

“The key difference between the two teams was India’s consistency, self-belief, discipline and attitude on the field. The Pakistan batting line-up simply isn’t clicking and what we saw was a weak display of power hitting,” he said.

“On the big days, you have to have nerves of steel until you make it through. India stayed positive and calm until the last ball and the pressure of the run chase was not handled well by Babar Azam’s side,” Afridi concluded.



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Last Updated on June 11, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter