HYDERABAD - All-rounder Shadab Khan has expressed hope to regain his form and perform with a ‘new mindset’ in the ICC World Cup 2023, scheduled to be played from October 5 to November 19.
Shadab Khan, during a press conference before Pakistan’s practice session in Hyderabad, expressed his wish to give his best for Pakistan in the World Cup 2023 and put Asia Cup 2023 memories in the past. “I admit I haven’t been in good form lately, and it drained me mentally as I was playing continuously but could not perform at my best,” said Shadab Khan.
“However, the past is in the past. The rest I got has made me feel better and I hope to perform at my best during the World Cup for my team with a new mindset,” said the all-rounder.
Shadab Khan had a forgettable stint at the Asia Cup 2023 as he only managed to pick six wickets in five games at an average of 40.83, while with the bat, he scored a meagre 13 runs from five outings. He also backed teammate and opening batter Fakhar Zaman, who also struggled during the Asia Cup, scoring 65 runs in the four innings at an average of 16.25.
“Fakhar Zaman is a world-class player, although he has not been consistent this year, but he is an impact player. We have complete faith in his abilities, and we believe that he will help Pakistan win matches in the World Cup,” he added.
He also stressed the fact that fitness and bowling are key to winning the mega-event in India. “World Cup 2023 is a long tournament and we have experienced a few injury scares during Asia Cup, that is why fitness will be key for all the teams during the tournament,” he said. “Considering the conditions, it will be a challenge to stop the flow of runs and take wickets here, so whoever bowls well will win the World Cup,” he added.
Pakistan team is scheduled to face Australia in their second warm-up match on October 3, at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, before kicking off their ICC World Cup 2023 campaign with the match against Netherlands on October 6 at the same venue. Pakistan lost their first warm-up match against New Zealand by five wickets as New Zealand batters chased down a mammoth 346 total with 38 balls to spare.
PAKISTAN SQUAD: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.
TRAVELLING RESERVES: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.