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Mohammad Hafeez hits out at Azam Khan for his poor fitness, says 'whole team covered 2 kms in 10 minutes, he took...'

Azam Khan has faced criticism for his fitness and performance in this tournament, failing to justify his selection.

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Mohammad Hafeez hits out at Azam Khan for his poor fitness, says 'whole team covered 2 kms in 10 minutes, he took...'
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    Pakistan secured their first T20 World Cup 2024 victory on Tuesday, triumphing over Canada by seven wickets in New York. The team, led by Babar Azam, faced an unexpected setback in their opening match with a Super Over defeat against co-hosts USA, followed by a narrow loss to arch-rivals India.

    Azam Khan has faced criticism for his fitness and performance in this tournament, failing to justify his selection. Consequently, the wicketkeeper-batter has been omitted from the team and is unlikely to make a return to the playing XI for the remainder of the tournament.

    Former Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez provided further insight into Azam's fitness during an interview with a local news channel.

    "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 said.

    Azam made his T20I debut in 2021, but has only managed to score 88 runs so far. His T20 World Cup debut was marred by being dismissed for a golden duck, drawing criticism from former Pakistan players and fans.

    Currently, Pakistan sits in third place in Group A with two points from three matches, trailing behind the USA who has four points. The recent defeat of the USA against India has made the net run rate equation inconsequential in Group A. Pakistan holds the advantage over the USA with a net run rate of +0.191 compared to the co-hosts' +0.127.

    In order to advance to the Super 8s, Pakistan can secure a spot by defeating Ireland in a Super Over, or if Ireland defeats the USA. They can also progress if they defeat Ireland and the USA loses to them, regardless of the margin of victory. On the other hand, the USA needs to secure at least one point, or rely on Pakistan dropping points. The unpredictable weather in Lauderhill poses a significant concern for Pakistan, as any washed-out matches could potentially benefit the USA in reaching the Super 8s.

    Also read| T20 World Cup, USA vs IRE weather forecast: Will rain play spoilsport in Florida? What happens to Pakistan?

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