Major Changes in Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021 Squad

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced changes in the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad. This has been followed by some players performing exceptionally poorly. 

In the ongoing National T20 Cup, where the first leg in Rawalpindi has been concluded, the original 18 players and their performance were monitored by the PCB and the national selection committee. The original squad, which was announced on September 6, was met with a lot of criticism. 

Some of the players were picked despite not having shown enough satisfaction or experience. This was later met with the then head, and bowling coaches Misbah ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigning from their roles

Pakistan T20 World Cup: What are the changes? 

Though PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did say that the squad will not be changed, some of the performances delivered by the players have been poor. The fans have called for changes, and the PCB delivered. 

Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain have been dropped from the T20 World Cup squad. Khushdil Shah was also dropped from the 15 but is still part of the squad. Khushdil Shah joins Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir as Reserves for the tournament. 

Fakhar Zaman, initially was in Reserves, makes the final 15. Alongside Fakhar came former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali. 

Related: T20 World Cup: Full Schedule, Dates, and Timings

Here is the new squad list:

#PlayerRole Bat style Bowl style 
56Babar Azam (C)BatsmanRightRH off-break
45Asif AliBatsmanRightRH off-break
39Fakhar Zaman BatsmanLeftLH off-break
47Haider AliBatsmanRightRH off-break
97Haris Rauf BowlerRightRH Fast
32Hasan AliBowling ARRightRH Fast M
9Imad Wasim All RounderLeftLH off-break
8Mohammad Hafeez All RounderRightRH off-break
21Mohammad NawazAll RounderLeftLH off-break
16Mohammad Rizwan (wk)WK-BATRight
74Mohammad Wasim JnrBowling ARRightRH Fast
54Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk)WK-BATRight
7Shadab Khan (VC)All RounderRightRH leg break
40Shaheen Afridi BowlerLeftRH Fast
92Sohaib MaqsoodBatsmanRightRH off-break
Reserve Players
72Khushdil ShahBatsmanLeftLH off-break
Shahnawaz Dahani BowlerRightRH Fast
91Usman QadirBowlerLeftRH leg break

Pakistan T20 World Cup: Why were the changes made?

Criticisms were already met when the first squad was announced. In particular of Azam Khan, Khushdil Shah, and Asif Ali. However, following New Zealand and England series cancellation, the National T20 Cup became the center monitor of performance. 

Let’s go one by one and compare the players.

1. Wicket-keeper Batter Comparison

Sarfaraz Ahmed:

7 matches | 185 runs | 46.25 average | 128.47 SR | 54* best

Azam Khan: 

8 matches | 123 runs | 17.57 average | 129.47 SR | 45 best

It is clear that Sarfaraz Ahmed is ahead of Azam. Sarfraz played three crucial knocks for the SINDH side, in which they won two of them. The Strike Rates are similar, though. As a wicket-keeper, Azam Khan was criticized for not being able to collect the ball cleanly most of the time. Sarfaraz’s experience earned him his place.

Hasnain and Azam Out

(Poor performances from Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain saw them dropped from the World Cup squad)

2. Left-hand Hard Hitter Swap

Fakhar Zaman:

4 matches | 88 runs | 22 average | 117.33 SR | 49 best

Khushdil Shah: 

8 matches | 173 runs | 24.71 average | 125.36 SR | 51* best

Yes, you may question the inclusion of Fakhar Zaman. But fair enough, he has played two games at numbers 5 and 6 to test that position. He only played four games as compared to Khushdil. Though Khushdil Shah has far better stats than the top-order batsman. 

3. An extra Batsman for a Bowler

Haider Ali: (stats as on oct 8)

8 matches | 315 runs | 63 average | 145.83 SR | 91* best

Mohammad Hasnain: 

7 matches | 6 wickets | 34.16 average | 9.76 ECO | 15 SR

This is a mismatch, but Pakistan decided to go with an extra batter instead of a bowler. Hasnain’s stats are clearly not pleasing and fans demanded of Shahnawaz Dahani to make it into the final fifteen. But it seems that the management felt it was better to include National T20’s top scorer. 

Pleased with the changes made by the Pakistan team? Comment your thoughts below. 

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