Hyderabad: Pakistan’s vice-captain Shadab Khan admitted that his recent performances weren’t up to the mark, but added that with some rest before the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup begins, he is now hopeful of giving a good performance in the tournament.
Shadab, the leg-spin all-rounder, has picked just 13 wickets in 11 ODIs this year. Moreover, he didn’t have a great time in the Asia Cup last month, picking only six wickets in five matches at an average of 40.83, leading to Pakistan not taking many wickets or getting control from its spinners in middle overs.
“From a cricketing point of view, the Asia Cup didn’t go well, but that’s the beauty of cricket: you learn from your mistakes, and there is always an opportunity to learn and play good cricket. After we lost the Asia Cup, we got a good rest, and I believe it’s no more a skill game but a mental game, and it’s the World Cup. You can make good decisions when you are relaxed mentally.”
“I do understand that my recent form is not good, but I have the skills. Just that when you are not performing, you are mentally a bit down, but skill-wise, there is no issue. From the mental aspect, things have changed after I got the rest, and hopefully, we will give a good performance in the upcoming World Cup,” Shadab was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz in a press conference.
Shadab also backed left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman to be back in form in time for the World Cup. Zaman has struggled to get runs of late, making only 65 runs in five innings in Asia Cup and didn’t get to bat for Pakistan in their first warm-up match against New Zealand on October 29.
“He is a big player for us, an impactful player, and whenever he performs, the team wins. His three centuries this year have come in winning causes and every team wants this kind of player to play for their side. We have no doubt about his ability, and we back him as he is a world-class player,” he added.
Shadab expressed firm belief in his view that the tournament will be won by the team which bowls the best on a given day. “This is my feeling: the team that bowls well will win the World Cup. Given the conditions, it will be difficult to contain the batters and pick wickets, given the nature of flat tracks and small boundaries.”
“So I feel the team that bowls well will win the tournament, and we have world-class bowlers, and as a bowling unit, if we perform well we will become champions.”