Babar should make way for Fakhar at the top: Shahid Afridi

Pakistan, who have lost to USA and India, face Canada in a must win game here on Tuesday.
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi (Photo | PTI)

NEW YORK: Former captain Shahid Afridi has proposed couple of changes to the Pakistan playing eleven following the dramatic loss to India in the T20 World Cup and he also wants skipper Babar Azam to drop down to No.3 to accommodate Fakhar Zaman at the top of the order.

Pakistan, who have lost to USA and India, face Canada in a must win game here on Tuesday.

"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 told 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."

Pakistan self-destructed in the chase of 120 against India on Sunday to suffer back-to-back defeat after the bowlers set the game nicely for them by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Co. for a below par 119.

"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. India have now won seven of their eight matches against Pakistan at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and Pakistan fans are highly disappointed," said Afridi referring to India's dominant record against the arch-rivals in world events.

In Afridi's opinion, Pakistan simply could not handle the pressure of a game as big as the one on Sunday.

"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," he added.

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