Last Update on: October 3rd, 2023 at 04:32 pm
Pakistan National Cricket Team is in India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. They will begin their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on 6th October in Hyderabad. The Pakistan team lost their first warm-up game against New Zealand where they failed to defend a total of 345.
Pakistan’s performance against New Zealand has raised a lot of questions about their bowling attack, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, and Shadab Khan, every bowler was leaking runs against the Blackcaps and clearly, Pakistan was missing the service of one of their star pacers, Naseem Shah.
Naseem Shah picked up an injury in the Asia Cup which led to him missing out on the World Cup and Ravi Shastri and Harbhajan Singh have shown concerns over Pakistan’s bowling attack, especially the spin department.
Pakistan have Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, and Mohammad Nawaz in their spin-bowling arsenal for the World Cup. The three spin bowling options have not been consistent with their form and Shadab Khan’s mindset has been under scrutiny of veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Pakistan’s Spin Is Not As Strong As It Used To Be, Says Harbhajan Singh
“With Naseem Shah not there, the strength of Pakistan just diminishes a bit,” Ravi Shastri said about the absence of Naseem Shah in the team. He then asked Harbhajan Singh for his insights regarding the spin department. “Their [Pakistan] spin quality compared to your era has dipped big time,” Shastri asked Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh was quick to mention spinners like Saqlain Mushtaq, Saeed Ajmal, and Shahid Afridi who used to wreak havoc during his era. Harbhajan criticized Shadab Khan, putting emphasis on the fact that he constantly concedes 50-60 runs without taking a wicket. This type of mindset hinders the ability to contribute to the team’s success.
“Of course. They used to have Saqlain Mushtaq, Saeed Ajmal, and Shahid Afridi. They were big spinners. Shadab looks really good, but recently, he is not bowling at his best,” Harbhajan Singh said.
“He is not looking to take those wickets. He is rather happy going for fifty and sixty runs and no wickets. When you have a mindset like that, as a spinner, you will not win games for your team. I believe their spin is not as strong as it used to be,” Harbhajan said.
Pakistan will have to come out of this crisis given the World Cup is being played in India and you should have your spin bowlers in form. Indian pitches majorly support spinners but with the kind of mindset Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have of not taking wickets and having a defensive approach, it will be difficult for Pakistan to take full advantage of these conditions.