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Shoaib Malik opines on Pakistan’s opening pair for T20 World Cup 2024

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NEW YORK: Senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik commented on the ongoing debate regarding Pakistan’s opening pair for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled to take place in the West Indies and USA in June.

Malik, while speaking at a media conference held at the newly-built Nassau County International Cricket Stadium here on Thursday, suggested considering Saim Ayub for the opening slot for high-scoring games.

“Look, Saim Ayub is the kind of player who plays a high-risk game. Any batter who plays with high risk has fewer chances of consistent performance, but there is a lot of talent in him,” stated Shoaib Malik.

“You need to see that if high-scoring matches are happening, then you will have to open with Saim Ayub.

“But if high-scoring games are not happening, then it depends on the conditions, if it’s those 160-170 score matches again, then I guess Babar and Rizwan should open,” he added.

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For the unversed, batting prodigy Saim Ayub has been under a lot of scrutiny as the left-handed opener is yet to score a half-century in the international circuit.

After bursting into the national side at the back of a remarkable domestic season and notable performances in the various franchise leagues across the world, Saim Ayub replaced Babar Azam as the opener in Pakistan’s away T20I series against New Zealand in January.

He then opened the innings for Pakistan with skipper Babar Azam in the home series against New Zealand before the opening slot once again got altered for the Ireland T20Is which saw him and Mohammad Rizwan starting the proceedings for the Green Shirts.

Notably, the Pakistan men’s cricket team on Wednesday, reached England to play a four-match T20I series to finalize their preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, starting on June 1.

The 2009 champions will start their campaign against co-host USA on June 6 before taking on arch-rivals India on June 9 at the aforementioned venue.

READ: Gary Kirsten to help Babar Azam play his ‘natural game’

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