In a bid to give more chances to younger players ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is mulling changes in the batting order during the New Zealand series, sources told Geo News on Thursday.
They said the team management and selectors have agreed to give chance to Saim Ayub to play as an opener either with Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan.
The insiders added that if Babar opens the innings, then Rizwan will play one down. However, the sources said that if Rizwan opens the innings then Babar will play at number three.
Consensus has also been developed in resting the star duo in a couple of matches of the series, they said.
The sources said there are suggestions to play Fakhar Zaman at number four followed by Iftikhar Ahmed and Azam Khan.
Rizwan will do fielding while Azam Khan will keep the wickets.
There have been debates over whether to stick with the current lineup or give younger players an opportunity, despite the fact that Pakistan has won many games with the opening combination of Rizwan and Babar for a considerable amount of time.
In light of this, the PCB named a number of new players, including Shaheen Afridi as captain, to the team for the New Zealand series.
Saim Ayub, Haseebullah Khan, Sahibzada Farhan, and young Abbas Afridi are also part of the 17-man roster.
The team also includes destructive batter Azam Khan in addition to players like Babar, Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman.
The ICC tournament, which will be held in the West Indies and the United States, is currently preparing all of the teams for the T20 World Cup, which is slated for June of next year.
Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mojammad Wasim Jr., Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, and Shaheen Afridi (c).
Schedule of Pakistan’s 2024 tour to New Zealand
First match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 12 January, Auckland
Second match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 14 January, Hamilton
Third match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 17 January, Dunedin
Fourth match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 19 January, Christchurch
Fifth match: New Zealand vs. Pakistan, 21 January, Christchurch.