Asia Cup 2023 has not been a smooth ride for Pakistan. After some initial victories, the Babar Azam-led side faced a massive defeat against Rohit Sharma-led India and finally, Sri Lankan batters dashed all hopes for Pakistan in a do-or-die match. As the team goes back to the deliberations ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has some tough words to share.
Shahid Afridi criticized the team management for not experimenting with the team and repeatedly keeping out-of-form Shadab Khan in the playing XI. He even gave the example of India who tried changes almost before every game.
“This is an age-old problem. India is playing in the Asia Cup, I’ve seen changes in almost every game in their team. They’ve rested seniors and played juniors, which shows that they are preparing for the World Cup. These decisions are very important, you select a 15-member squad because the players on our bench are as good as those in the XI. You shouldn’t have a problem with resting the first-choice players,” NDTV quoted Shahid Afridi saying on Samaa TV.
“If Shadab is rested, Osama Mir is there. He has performed well for Pakistan in the past. If someone isn’t performing in quite some matches, you should rest him. I’m not saying that drop him from the 15-member squad, you can keep him in the team and still rest him. Let him have sessions with the head coach and bowling coach. I don’t know what are our plans, really,” he added.
Pakistan is always known for its dangerous bowling and the absence of two key bowlers- Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf changed the game for the team. Haris Rauf didn’t play the match against India on the second day and Naseem Shah didn’t come out to bat in that match. Both pacers missed the must-win match against Sri Lanka. So, ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan has some big concerns to solve around their bowling.
Shadab Khan has been out of form for a while now and another good spinner Mohammad Nawaz is also not bowling that well for the team. The back-to-back defeats and elimination might have lowered the hopes of the team but Pakistan is too dangerous to be taken lightly.
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