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Headlinesn > Sports > Pak vs Ind: Azam Khan ‘out’, Imad Wasim in for electrifying T20 World Cup match
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Pak vs Ind: Azam Khan ‘out’, Imad Wasim in for electrifying T20 World Cup match

Wicket-keeper batsman Azam Khan (left) and all-rounder Imad Wasim (right). —AFP/Reuters/ File
  • Pakistan have finalised playing-XI for crucial India match.
  • Four fast bowlers, two all-rounders, a spinner included.
  • Babar and coach have “lost trust in Azam”.

NEW YORK: After persistent poor performance, Pakistan have decided against including wicket-keeper batsman Azam Khan and replace him with all-rounder Imad Wasim for the high-voltage T20 World Cup match between Pakistan and India today, sources told Geo News.

The development takes place after Azam was out on duck in the match against USA, while he could not make a mark in his previous late appearances in the national T20I side as well. The 25-year-old cricketer has been heavily criticised for his physical fitness as well as on-field performance.

Meanwhile, national team’s head coach Gary Kirsten Saturday confirmed that all-rounder Imad was fit and would play the highly anticipated match in New York.

Imad has been staying on the sidelines since the T20I series against England which was played last month but he is set to feature against the arch-rivals.

“Imad Wasim will be available for the match against India,” Kirsten confirmed in a presser. “We will make a comeback.”

The sources told Geo News that Pakistan have finalised their minus-Azam playing-XI for the India match and decided to enter the arena with four fast bowlers, two all-rounders, and a spinner.

The playing squad, as per the sources, includes captain Babar Azam, wicket-keeper-batter Muhammad Rizwan, batsman Usman Khan, left-handed batter Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Muhammad Amir and Naseem Shah.

The sources also added that skipper Babar and coach Kirsten have “lost trust in Azam as he was not given to play a single ball during the net practice”. 

The sources said Azam stood in isolation while the practice underwent.

The son of legendary wicket-keeper Moin Khan is yet to make a mark in T20I from the national side despite making his international debut three years ago in July 2021. He has appeared in 14 innings for Pakistan but could score only 88 runs.

Imam predicts Azam’s ouster

It seems as Pakistan batsman Imam Ul Haq had foreseen the out-of-form wicket-keeper’s ouster from the team as, citing Azam’s dismal performance, he said Friday one could not play six games in a row without a good performance as social media warriors instantly blasted it.

He had said this in context of the “misperception” among cricket fans that Pakistan were carrying some players on the basis of favouritism as he believed that it was not possible to carry a player longer without performance in the era of social media.

After US-Pakistan match, cricket fans expressed their disappointment over the Green Shirts’ performance and the team’s selection on Thursday.

Speaking to Geo News after the match, the fans were frustrated over the loss and especially over Azam’s selection in the same.

“We have been so much disappointed. Azam Khan has no place in the team but they are still including him. He doesn’t know fielding and he got out on the first ball,” said one of the spectators. 

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