The Pakistani side will play a five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand, led by Shaheen Afridi. During this series, a significant shift is seen. Babar Azam will reportedly not open and would be dropped in the batting order. Instead of him, Babar Azam can play at number three and Sam Ayub would be sent to open alongside Mohammad Rizwan.
In T20 cricket, Pakistan has traditionally relied on the opening combination of Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan. This duo has also had great success. Together, Babar and Rizwan powered Pakistan to win against India in the 2021 T20 World Cup, and they have been doing so ever since. But in the meanwhile, a lot of concerns were expressed about Babar Azam’s strike rate, claiming that he can’t capitalize on power plays and can’t score runs quickly. Questions about Babar Azam’s strike rate were frequently raised after the Pakistani side lost.
Since then, Shaheen Afridi has been named the T20 team’s captain, replacing the outgoing Babar Azam. On the other hand, Mohammad Rizwan was named the T20 team’s deputy captain. The Pakistani squad is now in Auckland, and Shaheen’s first test as captain comes from New Zealand.
Report: Babar Azam trained against spinners.
Only Mohammad Rizwan and Sam Ayub reportedly practiced against the new ball during the net session in Auckland, while Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman practiced against the spinners. Fakhar Zaman would have to play at number four if Babar Azam plays at number three. Sam Ayub just made some excellent strokes in the Australia test match.