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Saturday, June 8, 2024

PAK vs IND: Three things Pakistan ‘must’ do against India in T20 World Cup

India's Rohit Sharma (L) with Pakistan's Babar Azam at the toss. — AFP

Pakistan will face India in their most important match of the T20 World Cup 2024 on June 9 at New York’s Nassau County International Cricket Stadium and the Babar Azam-led unit has no room for error.

Pakistan lost to the United States (USA) in their T20 World Cup opener after a thrilling Super Over as they struggled greatly with the bat. Mohammad Amir took the ball in the Super Over and the USA concluded their innings 18-1 in reply, the Men in Green could only score 13-1 and ended up losing the match by five runs.

The loss has put Pakistan at crossroads and the game against India is of significant importance as a loss in New York tomorrow would greatly put their chances of qualifying for Super Eight in danger.

As we get closer to the match, there are three things that Pakistan should do against Pakistan as it is a must-win match for the Babar Azam side.

Change opening pair

The most important thing right now for Pakistan is to change their current opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. While it is a fact that these two, as a pair, have created multiple records but with everything on the line, Pakistan should go with Usman Khan and Saim Ayub as the openers.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan coming down the order would stabilise the middle-order and Usman and Saim can inflict real damage to India with their explosive hitting.

Drop Azam Khan

Wicketkeeper batter Azam Khan has been struggling to perform with the bat and it has now become a matter of concern as in the match against the USA, the 25-year-old departed on a golden duck. In 13 T20Is innings so far, he only managed to score 88 runs at a mediocre average of 8.80. It is time Pakistan drop Azam and utilise Mohammad Rizwan down the order.

Include Abrar Ahmed

Pakistan only have one proper spinner all-rounder in their squad and that is Shadab Khan, however, he has now been struggling to deliver for the team with the ball for a long time. He also registered his career-worst spell of T20Is last month and the Green Shirts are now in need of a spinner who can give them a breakthrough with the ball. Abrar Ahmed could be that bowler.

Abrar bagged 16 wickets in 10 innings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 with Quetta Gladiators. It is time Pakistan bring in the mystery spinner in their squad over Shadab and go all-out against India.

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