Pakistan despite losses to India and Zimbabwe in their first two games, managed to qualify for the semi-finals somehow in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Apart from winning their last three games, Pakistan had to hope for the other results to go their way and one of the biggest went their way. In a sudden turn of events, the Netherlands beat South Africa and Pakistan became the second team after India to make it to the final four from Group 2.
T20 World Cup: Shahid Afridi offers advice to Babar Azam after Pakistan reach semi-finals
Former Pakistan player Shahid Afridi has offered a piece of advice to captain Babar Azam after his team went into the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. Playing at Adelaide, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in their final Super-12 match to go through to the semis. Pakistan were in a precarious position in group table while coming into the game, but a shock loss of South Africa against Netherlands, gave them a chance to enter the semis.
Like India, Pakistan too have the same issue – form of their captain. While Rohit Sharma still has a half-century under his belt, Babar Azam hasn’t been able to cross 30 as his highest score of the tournament, 25, came against Bangladesh that too off 33 balls. Babar averages 7.8 in 5 matches in the T20 World Cup and Pakistan desperately need their captain to fire.
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi in a big statement asked Babar to drop himself to No. 3 in the line-up to allow Mohammad Rizwan and Haris to open together saying that they need fire at the top of the order and the latter is capable of doing that.
“@babarazam258 We need fire power at the top with batters who are showing clear intent like Haris and Shahdab. Plz consider Haris opening with Riz and you one down followed by ur next best hitter. You should be rigid on winning the match and flexible on a balanced batting line up,” Afridi said in his tweet.
Afridi, who propelled Pakistan to T20 World Cup glory in the 2009 edition, also showered praise on pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. Leading the bowling attack of the Green Army against Bangladesh, pace ace Afridi emerged as the pick of the bowlers for the former world champions. “Yeh cheez! Well done boys and excited to see how Haris in the mix, and the entire bowling inning was the best in todays match specially Shaheen. Mubarak to all of Pakistan,” Afridi tweeted.
Pakistan will go against New Zealand in the first semi-finals
Now, on 9 November (Wednesday), Pakistan will go against New Zealand in the first semi-finals at Sydney Cricket Ground. Pakistan has entered the semis, with a stroke of luck and New Zealand has consistently outperformed all their opponents in this World Cup except England. With Shaheen Afridi back in form, the team will try to make the contest very tough.