Bad news for the Pakistani fans of Babar Azam

Bad news for the Pakistani fans of Babar Azam

Pakistan's head coach, Azhar Mahmood, has underlined the significance of implementing rotation within the playing XI as Pakistan gears up for the impending five-match series against New Zealand. Emphasizing the need for a serious rotation policy ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup in June, Mahmood hinted that even captain Babar Azam might be rested for a few matches.

Reports previously suggested that Pakistan's top pacer, Shaheen Afridi, might sit out the first two matches in adherence to this rotation strategy. During a press briefing, Mahmood disclosed that the coaching staff is yet to finalize the opening pair for the first T20I match in Rawalpindi, given the team's multiple options including Fakhar Zaman, Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan.

Regarding the New Zealand team, Mahmood stressed on not underestimating them, even with their second-string side, highlighting their players' extensive experience in domestic and T20 cricket.

He acknowledged the team's improved balance with the inclusion of Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim but stressed the need for Pakistan to enhance their average batting score of 160 in T20s.

In anticipation of rain during the upcoming match, Mahmood mentioned the possibility of deploying two spinners, considering the pitch conditions and weather forecast. Additionally, he confirmed Shaheen Shah Afridi's fitness, debunking recent media reports suggesting otherwise.