Shahid Afridi calls on Babar Azam to move down the order

Published November 7, 2022
<p>This combination of photos shows ex-captain Shahid Afridi and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — Pictures via Reuters</p>

This combination of photos shows ex-captain Shahid Afridi and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — Pictures via Reuters

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam should stand aside and give Mohammad Haris his opener slot to boost their top order firepower in Wednesday’s Twenty20 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, former captain Shahid Afridi said.

Pakistan, the 2009 champions, looked set to exit the competition until the Netherlands pulled off a major upset by beating South Africa on Sunday.

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar went into the tournament ranked as the top two T20 batters but neither has managed a fifty in the tournament so far.

Rizwan has scored at a run-a-ball rate while Babar, Pakistan’s premier batsman, has a strike rate of 61.90.

Both will have to up their game against last year’s runners-up New Zealand in the first semi-final in Sydney. India play England in the second semi in Adelaide on Thursday.

“Babar Azam needs to listen to suggestions,” former all-rounder Afridi told Samaa TV.

“We need to use Mohammad Haris with fielding restrictions. Babar Azam should drop to number three.”

Afridi said Pakistan’s top order should play with more intent and be as aggressive as middle order batters Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood.

“You look at Iftikhar or Shan Masood and you can see their intention in their body language, that they are looking to hit the ball. We need that kind of intention, that kind of cricket.

“What’s the point of scoring a run-a-ball 30 or 35 if you can’t finish the game having used up that many deliveries?” the 42-year-old added.

Opinion

Editorial

Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...
Delay in the offing?
Updated 03 Feb, 2023

Delay in the offing?

Govt must realise that political stability in the country cannot be achieved by extra-constitutional actions.
Divisions in PML-N
03 Feb, 2023

Divisions in PML-N

DISCORD and drama in PML-N ranks escalated this week when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed he no longer holds a party...
Wikipedia ‘downgrade’
03 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ‘downgrade’

ATTEMPTS to police the internet by states, often by giving opaque justifications for the action, are never a good...