"Fakhar Zaman should be promoted to open the innings" - Shahid Afridi suggests changes for Pakistan's remaining matches in T20 World Cup 2024

England & Pakistan Net Sessions
Fakhar Zaman. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi believes the team needs to make some changes as they battle to stay alive in the T20 World Cup 2024. The former all-rounder reckons Babar Azam should drop down to No.3 and Fakhar Zaman should open the innings.

Pakistan's campaign is currently on life support after losing two consecutive matches in the showpiece event. The 2009 World T20 champions must beat Canada and Ireland comprehensively and hope USA lose their remaining two matches of the tournament.

Speaking to ICC, Afridi suggested that Usman Khan and Shadab Khan should face the axe and Pakistan must believe they can still sneak into the Super 8s.

"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. 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."

Babar Azam and Co. had a good chance to win the game against India with only 120 to chase. The Men in Green were on top for a large part of the chase, but failed to close out the game and lost by six runs.

"On the big days, you have to have nerves of steel" - Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi. (Image Credits: Getty)
Shahid Afridi. (Image Credits: Getty)

Shahid Afridi added that India had the right attitude, self-belief, and consistency - all of which Pakistan lacked. He said:

"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. For several reasons, this game wasn’t about playing aggressively. But strategy and smart cricket were required to get the run chase over the line, and those qualities are exactly what Pakistan lacked. On the big days, you have to have nerves of steel until you make it through."

Pakistan will face Canada on Tuesday, June 11, in New York. Their final group stage game will be against Ireland on Sunday, June 16.

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