'Azam Khan will take 20 minutes to cover 2 kilometres while whole Pakistan team...': Hafeez burns under-fire PAK star | Crickit

'Azam Khan will take 20 minutes to cover 2 kilometres while whole Pakistan team...': Hafeez burns under-fire PAK star

Jun 14, 2024 03:08 PM IST

Mohammad Hafeez destroyed Azam Khan with a brutal piece of criticism, for the wicketkeeper-batter's poor fitness during the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Pakistan clinched their first T20 World Cup 2024 victory on Tuesday, beating Canada by seven wickets in New York. The Babar Azam-led side began their campaign with a shock Super Over defeat against co-hosts USA, followed by a six-run loss to arch-rivals India.

Pakistan's Azam Khan during a practice session.(Surjeet Yadav)
Pakistan's Azam Khan during a practice session.(Surjeet Yadav)

Azam Khan has been criticised for his fitness and form in this tournament, and he has failed to justify his selection too. The wicketkeeper-batter has also been dropped, and is not expected to get back into the playing XI in this tournament.

Also Read | Time for 'six-hitter' Shivam Dube to start making it count at T20 World Cup

Speaking to a local news channel, former Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez shed some more light on Azam's fitness. "The whole Pakistan team can cover two kilometres in 10 minutes while Azam Khan will take 20 minutes to cover the distance. Sadly, Azam Khan is not serious in playing the international cricket," he said.

"Being lean or oversize is never an issue for me, but you need to work according to the needs of the game. You need to bring your fitness to a required level. We gave him a fitness plan, but he [Azam] could not improve. You are in the team because of your talent, but you need to respond in case of fitness. You are the only one in the team on whom we have compromised on the grounds of fitness," Hafeez further revealed.

Azam made his T20I debut in 2021, and has only registered 88 runs. He was also dismissed for a golden duck on his T20 World Cup debut and has been the focus of criticism for former Pakistan players and fans.

Pakistan are third in Group A with two points in three matches, behind second-placed USA (four points). USA's defeat against India with 10 balls to spare makes the net run rate equation indifferent in Group A. Pakistan are ahead of the USA, with a net run rate of +0.191, compared to the co-hosts' +0.127.

Pakistan can qualify for the Super 8s even if they beat Ireland in a Super Over and if Ireland defeated USA. They can also reach the next stage if they defeat Ireland and USA lose to them, and the margin of the win doesn't matter. Meanwhile for USA, they need at least a point or they need Babar and Co. to drop a point. The biggest worry for Pakistan will be the weather in Lauderhill for these crucial fixtures. If one of them gets washed out, USA will reach the Super 8s.

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