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Wednesday June 19, 2024

T20 World Cup 2024: Key change in Pakistan's playing XI expected against Canada

Captain Babar Azam to make final call in favour or against Saim's inclusion ahead of toss, say sources

By Syed Yahya Hussaini
June 11, 2024
Pakistans batter Saim Ayub practices in nets in this undated image. — Instagram/saimayubb/File
Pakistan's batter Saim Ayub practices in nets in this undated image. — Instagram/saimayubb/File

NEW YORK: Following their disappointing defeat against arch-rivals India, Pakistan team management is expected to make one key change with the inclusion of Saim Ayub in place of Iftikhar Ahmed ahead of today's must-win match against Canada, Geo News reported citing sources..

The decision to include Saim in place of Iftikhar will be made by skipper Babar Azam before the toss at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, the sources added.

Shedding light on the team's morale, sources say that there's an "atmosphere or mourning" in the team's camp following Sunday's defeat as the players even avoided going out of the hotel they're staying at.

The possible change in the team's line up comes after Iftikhar, during his two outings against the United States and arch-rivals India, only managed to score 22 and five runs, respectively.

In the first match, the US secured a five-run victory over the Green Shirts in the Super Over, whereas in the second match against India, the Men in Green failed to chase down a modest 120-run target courtesy of batting line's collapse.

With two defeats, the national side has zero points with no victory in their previous two games. Meanwhile, India and US are on top of the points table with 4 points, as they won their previous two undertakings.

The Green Shirts are now heavily dependent on not just winning their next two games — against Ireland and Canada — but also US to lose their next two against India and Ireland.

Even if Pakistan anyhow nail it down, the story will not end yet as they would have to have a better net run rate (NRR) than the US to secure a berth in the Super Eight stage.

On the other hand, if the US win one more match, Pakistan will not have to be bothered about the NRR anymore as they will definitely not be entering the next stage.