Big boots to fill, Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik’s replacements

Babar Azam said Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed have big boots to fill as replacements for Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik

Babar Azam: “Players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar need to fill their boots”

Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani

Pakistan captain Babar Azam conceded that Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed have big boots to fill as they are seen as the replacements for veteran big-hitters Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

Hafeez has already announced his retirement from international cricket, while Malik is still playing domestic cricket, but hasn’t been picked to play for Pakistan since November 2021.

Many people felt that he should have been part of the squad for the ongoing T20 World Cup, but the men in green opted to go for younger talents.

However, Asif, Khushdil and Iftikhar haven’t performed consistently, which has further exacerbated the problems they have had with their middle order.

With the trio having been given opportunities to prove their worth, Azam wants to see them rise to the occasion and shine bright.

“Players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar need to fill their boots,” he was quoted as saying by Cricwick.

Pakistan have lost two games in the T20 World Cup – against India and Zimbabwe – and won one – against the Netherlands.

Their next game will be against South Africa on Thursday in Sydney.

Pakistan’s 2022 T20 World Cup squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood

Reserves: Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir

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