T20 World Cup 2024: Babar Azam to be demoted further? Pakistan captain reveals his batting position for upcoming T20Is

Published - 21 May 2024, 11:18 PM | Updated - 21 May 2024, 11:19 PM

Babar Azam
Babar Azam [PC: X]

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has confirmed he will not be opening the innings for his team in the upcoming series against England. Both teams will be playing four games against each other before leaving for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to get underway next week in the USA and the West Indies.

The series will be the last opportunity for Pakistan to finetune their preparations for the marquee event and one of the big decisions they have taken is to change the batting position of their captain. While Babar Azam has been very successful as an opener in the shortest format of the game, he has decided to demote himself to number three for the team's cause.

Speaking ahead of the first T20I against England, the right-handed batsman confirmed that he would be batting at number three while Mohammad Rizwan and Saim Ayub would continue to open like they did in the recently concluded three-match series against Ireland.

"We changed our style of cricket and mindset after losing the 1st T20 against Ireland. People want us to hit only fours and sixes but we have to play according to the situation," Babar said.

"You’ll see our planning in this series but yes, we can make one or so changes according to the conditions or what is required. But, mostly I’ll be batting at one down," he said.

As far as Babar's record as an opener in T20Is is concerned, he has scored 2836 runs in 81 innings with the help of three centuries and 25 half-centuries. However, he has faced criticism for not being able to give his team fast starts in the powerplay and it could be one of the reasons for the change in the batting position.

Series against England a golden opportunity:

Speaking further, Babar Azam called the series against England a golden opportunity for Pakistan, saying that it would give his team the chance to gain confidence ahead of the T20 World Cup.

"The England series is a golden opportunity for us to win and gain confidence for the T20 World Cup 2024," he said.

"I am confident that Pakistan will carry the winning momentum from the Ireland series into the England T20Is. Our 2-1 victory showcased the brilliance of our batters and bowlers, while also providing us with learnings as we aim to work on our areas of improvement," added the Pakistan captain.

The four-match series between England and Pakistan is scheduled to get underway in Leeds on May 22. The series will end on May 30.

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Babar Azam Pakistan national cricket team ENG Vs PAK 2024