Last Update on: October 3rd, 2023 at 05:24 pm
The Pakistan National Cricket Team are one of the contenders for the top 4 spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 according to many experts. The team has a lot of great players including the current No.1 Batsman in the ICC ODI Rankings, Babar Azam. Babar played a brilliant knock, scoring 80 runs in Pakistan’s first warm-up match against New Zealand.
Apart from Babar Azam, Pakistan have other talented batting prospects like Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, and Saud Shakeel. The pace bowling department also looks promising with the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in the squad. However, they will miss the services of Naseem Shah as he misses out due to an injury.
Former New Zealand Head Coach Mike Hesson has picked his game-changer for Pakistan in this ICC Cricket World Cup. Hesson didn’t pick the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi or Haris Rauf but he rather went for a spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan, given the spin-friendly conditions of India. The current Pakistan team don’t have any experience in Indian conditions which can be a disadvantage for them.
I just hope Babar Azam is allowed to play with more freedom – Mike Hesson
Mike Hesson talked about Shadab Khan having the ability to contribute with both bat and ball. He also talked about Babar Azam playing with more freedom. Mike Hesson emphasized Babar’s ability to score at a run-a-ball pace or build his innings patiently.
“I just hope Babar is allowed to play with more freedom. He is the sort of guy who can score run a ball, but he can also score a 100 off a 130 or 140 balls,” Hesson said.
Mike Hesson chose Shadab Khan and talked about his ability to contribute at the number 6 slot in batting, and his ability to create wicket-taking opportunities.
“Shadab Khan for me is the one. If he has a good tournament, he can contribute at the number six slot in the batting order. If he is at his best with the ball, he can create many wicket-taking opportunities. He is a little bit inconsistent at the moment. Hopefully, he can do the job for them. If he can, then Pakistan can sneak into that fourth or fifth spot for me,” Hesson concluded.
Pakistan will face the Netherlands in their first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The match will be played on 6th October in Hyderabad and captain Babar Azam and Co will look to have a flying start to the tournament before they face arch-rivals India on 14th October in Ahmedabad.