Pakistan cricket team and specifically Babar Azam has witnessed a wave of change since the conclusion of ICC World Cup 2023. Babar Azam was asked to quit as captain in white-ball formats after Pakistan failed to qualify for the semi-final of the World Cup. However, he relinquished the captaincy of all three-formats.

PCB then announced Shan Maasood and Shaheen Afridi as the captains of Test and T20I teams respectively. ODI captain will be announced later with Shaheen Afridi being the front-runner for the position.

Babar Azam is now expected to step away from the opening position, potentially making room for the emerging talent, Saim Ayub in T20I series against New Zealand.

Source: X (formerly Twitter)

Recent reports from Auckland echo this strategic reconfiguration, spotlighting Mohammad Rizwan and Saim’s practice against new ball bowlers, contrasting with Babar and Fakhar Zaman’s spin-focused nets.

Despite the buzz, Babar Azam, known for his composure, seems unfazed by the potential change, seemingly agreeing to the decision.

With the reins now in the hands of Shaheen Shah Afridi as captain and new faces in coaching roles, Yasir Arafat and Muhammad Hafeez, Pakistan seems poised for a bold tactical makeover in the imminent T20I series against New Zealand.

It is pertinent to mention that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are the most prolific opening pair in Pakistan’s T20I history. Their blistering performance against India in the T20 World Cup 2021 remains etched in memory, marking Pakistan’s maiden victory over India in a World Cup game in any format.

Source: Cricinfo

As the cricket world awaits this strategic gamble’s outcome, will this new direction elevate Pakistan’s game or pose a risky gamble against the Kiwis?

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