T20 World Cup 2024: Shoaib Malik suggests masterplan to Babar Azam for World Cup after T20I series loss to England

Published - 31 May 2024, 02:53 PM | Updated - 31 May 2024, 02:54 PM

Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam
Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam. Image Credit: X

Former Pakistan captain and seasoned all-rounder Shoaib Malik has proposed a strategic adjustment for the current captain, Babar Azam, ahead of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and Caribbean, starting on June 1. He urged Babar to drop himself in the batting order.

Pakistan's recent T20I series loss to England has sparked discussions among cricket experts and players over the Men in Green’s recent downfall ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. Pakistan had lost the first T20I match before winning the three-match T20I series in Ireland.

But on their crucial tour of England, Babar and his Pakistan team were yet again badly exposed, losing two games that could only be possible due to bad weather in the UK and losing the four-match T20I series to the hosts.

Pakistan's middle-order woes raise tension ahead of ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Well, Babar had a decent outing in the T20I series, scoring 32 runs at No. 3 in the second game and 36 in the final T20I as an opener, both losing to England. Well, Pakistan’s middle-order woes are well-known to all, and many have been suggesting Babar drop himself to number three in the batting order to provide stability to the line-up.

Now, Shoaib Malik also backed the notions, saying Babar should consider batting at number three in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, especially due to the Pakistan cricket team's middle-order woes.

During the fourth and final match of the T20I series, Pakistan's opening pair, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, provided a solid start, adding 59 runs in just 36 balls. But after their departure, the middle-order batters failed to capitalize on the good start, leading to a collapse as Pakistan lost several wickets in quick succession, leaving them struggling at 86/5 after 10.2 overs.

Despite a valiant effort from Usman Khan, who contributed a brisk 38 off 21 balls, Pakistan could only post 157 runs, and even they were all out without playing 20 overs against England. Then, the England team made a mockery of Pakistan by chasing down the target inside 16 overs, winning the game by 7 wickets to clinch the home series by a 2-0 margin on May 30.

Shoaib Malik wants Babar Azam to bat at No.3 in T20 World Cup 2024

After Pakistan's defeat, Malik took to his social media platform to share his view, suggesting that Babar at number three in the batting order could potentially bolster Pakistan's batting lineup and address their middle-order weaknesses. He also hopes Pakistan will bounce back strongly.

Shoaib Malik wrote on X: “Tough series! Remember: We've been in tough spots before and came out stronger! IMO, Babar should bat at no. 3! We need someone in the middle overs to rotate strike; you are our best option, and with your guidance, our middle order will do a lot better.”

Notably, Pakistan will kick off their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against the co-host USA on June 6 in Texas. Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad featured Babar Azam, Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Abrar Ahmed.