Pakistan is expected to drop Babar Azam from the T20I batting order

Babar Azam looks set for a different role in Pakistan’s T20I team after the end of his captaincy in all formats. The skilled batsman will reportedly swing at the number three position for Pakistan in cricket’s fastest format.

Who is Set to Replace Babar Azam in the Batting Order?

Skilled prodigy Saim Ayub looks well on course to replace Babar Azam in the top order. He will partner with Azam’s former pairing teammate Mohammad Rizwan to breath new life into Pakistan’s chances off the bat.

Reports from Pakistan suggest that Rizwan and Ayub were spotted in training against pace bowling gear in Auckland ahead of their next series. These reports also claim Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam practiced against spin bowling training throughout this session.

If Azam moves to number three, it is likely that Zaman will move to number four.

Who Made the Opening Pair Change Decision?

Reports from local sources claim Pakistan’s new team director Mohammed Hafeez got marching orders from the PCB President Zaka Ashraf to swap the team’s opening combination. Their decision may also not be unconnected with reports that Shaheen Afridi will take up the T20I captaincy after Azam stepped down.

What Could Be the Reason Behind Babar Azam’s New Role?

Pakistan’s terrible outing at the ICC ODI World Cup

Many ex-Pakistan cricketers and veteran contributors tipped Pakistan to reach the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2023 final. Others believed the team could snatch an ODI World Cup title in their backyard and rub it in their neighbour’s faces; however, that wasn’t the case.

Pakistan’s cricket team were decimated by seemingly-lowly opposition, sparking outrage across their fan base. Azam aimed to pacify the fans by stepping down from his role as skipper, but it seems that wasn’t enough.

Drop in form

Azam has not been the same for some time, failing to deliver when it mattered most for at least much of 2023’s international events. His partnership with Rizwan was all the rave as recently as 2022, but fans want something else from the Men in Green right now.

The pairing with Rizwan secured lots of runs for Pakistan, but criticism about their big-game mentality lingers. Some comments suggest that both players may need a challenge to rediscover their match-winning form as Falcons players.

More competitive players

Competition for Babar Azam’s position has been strong for years, with many young and talented players eyeing his remarkable role in Pakistan’s colours. The performance of other star players has always been a challenge for Azam, who has had to produce match-winning performances to stay ahead of competition.

However, recent events in the Asia Cup 2023 and ICC ODI CWC 2023 now sees more Pakistan fans clamouring for change. The move to assign another role to Azam could be a direct response to fans’ desire for another pairing to drive Pakistan’s future cricket games.

Resignation from captaincy

Babar Azam stepped down from his role as Pakistan’s permanent skipper when the team fumbled at the ICC ODI CWC 2023, winning less than 50% of their entire allotted matches. Pakistan crashed out of the international event, winning four out of a possible nine matches, sparking differing calls for Babar Azam to step down.

Azam stepped down from the captaincy immediately after Pakistan played their last game and lost his abilities to appoint players in positions. There is a greater chance that the cricket star’s resignation sparked his removal from the opening position, but there is no public indication to that effect.

Babar Azam Career Stats

Babar Azam Batting and Fielding Stats

FORMATMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCtSt
Tests52949389819645.85710554.8692645323410
ODIs11711413572915856.72645588.75193252060500
T20Is1049814348512241.482714128.433037153420
FC8914914595026644.071068555.68123872735630
List A18117720864515855.06996286.77295081174770
T20s26825841946212243.67347128.7810779941731220

Babar Azam Bowling Stats

FORMATMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
Tests528904221-Jan2-Jan212.845000
ODIs117
T20Is104
FC892881646671/12/166.573.42116.5000
List A18129633555122/202/2046.255.2652.7000
T20s2685788542/202/2021.256.5319.5000

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