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Pakistan to drop Shehzad

Opener pays price for lack of runs

Axe: Shehzad has a top score of 13 at the World Cup

Pakistan are set to drop struggling opener Ahmed Shehzad for their final Group A match against Australia on Saturday.

"We have been showing faith in his abilities but Ahmed (Shehzad) has failed to give us a single good start and now we are thinking about going into the match against Australia with a new opening pair."

Shahid Afridi

Quotes of the week

The teenager has managed just 44 runs in five innings at the World Cup and Kamran Akmal will now form a new partnership at the top of the order with Mohammad Hafeez.

Kamran has also come under scrutiny during the tournament for his fallible wicketkeeping but skipper Shahid Afridi is confident the new plan will work.

"Ahmed is a talented kid but he has not really learnt from his mistakes," Afridi said.

"We have been showing faith in his abilities but Ahmed has failed to give us a single good start and now we are thinking about going into the match against Australia with a new opening pair.

Best option

"The best option we have is to promote Kamran as an opener. He has scored a lot of runs playing at that position and has the sort of experience we will need against a top-class bowling side like Australia at the start of our innings."

Kamran played four of Pakistan's initial World Cup games at the number three position, but was replaced by Asad Shafiq, who scored 78 not out in Monday's seven-wicket win against Zimbabwe at Pallekele.

"Asad made full use of the opportunity that was given to him and that's a sign of a good cricketer," Afridi said.

Pakistan will also bring back Kamran's younger brother Umar Akmal, who missed the game against Zimbabwe because of an injured finger.

"Umar is fully fit and that's good for us because he is one of our key players."

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