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Azam, Amir And? Babar Likely To Drop 'These' Players From Pakistan's Playing XI Vs India

Azam Khan was dismissed for a duck vs USA [AP]Azam Khan was dismissed for a duck vs USA [AP]

On Sunday, Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India in their second group-stage match of the ongoing T20 World Cup. This match holds significant importance for Pakistan as they would be desperate for a win following their disastrous defeat against the United States. 

Led by Babar Azam, Pakistan had a torrid start to their T20 World Cup campaign as the USA pipped them in a super-over thriller at Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas. 

Besides skipper Babar Azam's timid innings, the poor batting performances of several players backfired on the Men in Green. 

As it's a must-win game for Pakistan, they are expected to make significant changes to their playing XI. So, as the stage gets set for El Classico, let's see which players Pakistan might drop for this high-octane face-off. 

Azam Khan

Keeper-batter Azam Khan seems to be the front-runner among those who could face the axe for the much-awaited Pakistan vs India game. In 13 T20I innings, Azam has managed only 88 runs, including four ducks. 

He couldn't open his account against the United States as Nosthush Kenjige outfoxed him for a golden duck

He has been poor with the gloves as well, letting Pakistan down with his sloppy efforts behind the stumps. 

So, considering his abysmal recent form, the Pakistani think tank might exclude him from the playing XI for this match. Particularly if Imad Wasim is fit, there is absolutely no point persisting with Azam Khan. 

Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir hasn't been impressive [AP]Mohammad Amir hasn't been impressive [AP]

Another Pakistani player who has failed to live up to the hype is Mohammad Amir. Despite making a comeback to the national T20I side, Amir is no longer a threat with the new ball once he used to be. 

Since his return, Amir has added only six wickets to his tally in nine T20I appearances. More importantly, using him as Shaheen's partner has compelled Pakistan to play Naseem as their third seamer, while the latter could be a more potent option with the new ball. 

So, if Pakistan decide to drop Amir, he might make way for either death-overs specialist Abbas Afridi or wrist spinner Abrar Ahmed. 

Usman Khan

Swashbuckling batter Usman Khan could also be in the firing line for his prolonged underwhelming batting form. Usman, who grabbed the limelight with some stellar outings in the PSL 2024, has accumulated only 100 runs in six T20I innings. 

Given Pakistan have a solid back-up in Saim Ayub, it won't be surprising if Usman sits out in the India game. 

However, considering the explosive right-hander's quick-fire thirties in two consecutive games before the USA clash, Pakistan might give him another opportunity to prove his worth.