Pakistan could make two changes for Canada T20 World Cup match

This is a must-win match for Pakistan

June 11, 2024
Saim Ayub during a training session. - PCB

LONG ISLAND (NY): Pakistan will face Canada in a must-win match during the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 today.

The US and India have already made it two out of two, occupying the top spots in Group A.

The only hope for Pakistan to make it to the next stage rests with the results according to their liking. Pakistan would hope that India to win all their matches, the US must lose to Ireland and the Green Shirts go on to win the remaining two matches with a good margin.

The US have yet to play India and Ireland while India’s next two games also include a match against Canada.

Following two close defeats (against the USA and Canada), Pakistan now stand on the brink of getting out of the World Cup at such an early stage.

The last T20 World Cup finalists are to play Canada on Tuesday and against Ireland on June 16 in Florida.

All Pakistan now require is a big win against Canada and then to follow it up with yet another impressive performance against Ireland on June 16. Canada have already beaten Ireland at the same venue where they are to take on Pakistan on Tuesday.

The news emerging from the Pakistan camp are not so encouraging. Following a narrow loss against India, the team’s morale has gone down considerably.

“Majority of senior cricketers were upset at the loss believing that they should have earned the victory. That is one of the reasons the team has opted not to train Monday, a day ahead of the match,” an insider told ‘The News’.

He added that even the coaches were upset as to how a golden chance against India was thrown away.

“Every member of the team management is upset as to how a good opportunity was missed and what should have been done to complete the victory,” the source said that Head Coach Gary Kirsten was unhappy with team’s inability to chase down a reachable total following a good start and impressive bowling performance.

“Some senior players were questioned about their temperament and consistent failure to execute the game plan in the best possible way.”

The match against Canada may see some changes. Saim Ayub and Abrar Ahmed could be seen getting into the playing XI. Imad Wasim though played the match against India the other day, he still is not one hundred percent. His fitness on Tuesday morning will be reassessed before the management takes the final decision on him. There were also talks about resting key bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi and giving opportunity to Abbas Afridi instead.

“Majority of the team management is not in favour of resting Shaheen. They feel that he is a key bowler who can dent Canada’s batting early in the innings. As such his inclusion in the playing XI is a must,” an insider said.

The match against Canada as usual will start at 7.30 PST. As expected the team winning the toss will opt to put the other side into bat first with a hope of restricting the opposition to a low score.

Nassau Stadium pitch would help seamers as it has been doing in last week. The drop-in pitches behaviour so far has been a real issue. Even the ICC has expressed its concern on curators’ abilities to prepare supporting tracks.

The weather forecast for Tuesday morning is clear with mixed sunny/cloudy conditions.

Abdul Mohi Shah is a senior reporter for The News