PAK vs NZ: Big Blow Hits Pakistan Ahead Of New Zealand T20Is, Shadab Khan Unlikely To Play Series

Published - 18 Dec 2023, 06:31 PM

Shadab Khan, Pakistan
Shadab Khan (Credits: X)

It seems like nothing is going right for Pakistan in the current scenario as the team has dealt with a major blow ahead of the New Zealand tour. The team’s vice-captain Shadab Khan is expected to miss the series due to the foot injury he sustained in the National T20 Cup.

The Pakistan Cricket Board selection committee which consists of Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Asad Shafique, and Iftikhar Anjum is yet to announce the replacement of the 25-year-old ace spinner. Shadab Khan has been one of the main weapons of the Pakistani cricket team, especially in the shorter format.

Shadab Khan: The backbone of Pakistan’s spin attack

Shadab Khan can pick wickets in the middle overs and contribute with runs while coming down the order. Khan was supposed to major role in Pakistan’s development after batsman Babar Azam stepped down as the captain of the team. Left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the team in the T20I format.

Shaheen has been one of the most lethal weapons of the ‘Men in Green’ in the T20I format due to his deadly pace and the ability to dismiss the batsman in the early overs. However, Shaheen has not been able to meet the expectations after his return from the injury.

Shaheen sustained an injury during the 2022 T20 World Cup final against England and since then there has been a dip in the pace of the left-arm bowler. Afridi’s dismal bowling was also one of the primary reasons behind Pakistan’s flop show in the 2023 Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.

Pakistan’s flop show in the 2023 ODI World Cup

Pakistan suffered humiliating losses at the hands of low-ranked teams such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and the bowling which was the strength of the team at one point had become their weakness. Pakistan also lost to India in the 2023 Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup, which once again highlighted the major issues with the team.

The form of batsman Babar Azam also came under the radar as he was not able to score runs despite being the number one ODI batsman in the world.

Currently, Pakistan are in Australia and is playing a three-match Test series against the World Test Champions. The Pakistani team led by Shan Masood suffered a 360-run loss against the Kangaroos in the first Test played at Perth. Shadab Khan had a forgetful World Cup 2023 like most Pakistan players. Shadab Khan also received a lot of criticism from Pakistan fans during World Cup 2023.

Pakistan were dismantled for a second innings score of 89 runs and put up a horrible batting performance. Pakistan will now head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Boxing Day Test which is set to be played from December 26.

Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand 2024

1st T20I: New Zealand vs Pakistan at the Eden Park in Auckland

2nd T20I: New Zealand vs Pakistan at the Seddon Park in Hamilton

3rd T20I: New Zealand vs Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin

4th T20I: New Zealand vs Pakistan at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch

5th T20I: New Zealand vs Pakistan at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch

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