Pakistan had got their visa issue sorted and now are well on their way to India for the first time since 2016 for a multi-nation event in India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Ahead of the departure to first Dubai and then to Hyderabad from there, skipper Babar Azam addressed a press conference and as usual there were several spicy questions thrown at the captain and he handled them rather well.
One of them was around the topic of spinners, which has been Pakistan’s Achilles Heel in recent times and Babar was quite ready as it seemed like he has been habitual of handling the googlies of reporters.
A reporter questioned the quality of the spinners given the conditions in India will assist the slow bowlers. Responding to the same, Babar said, “Sir [spinners] acche nahi hain to bata dein kaun se ache hai (If they’re not good then tell me who all are good). It’s not like that, you’re looking at it from your point of view, you feel that they’re not good. But for me they’re my best players my best spinners.
“We start judging them very quickly, I agree they haven’t been at their best in recent times but it doesn’t mean they’re not good. They’re good that’s why they’re playing for Pakistan. I have full faith in them that they will perform well in the World Cup,” Babar added.
There were several reports stating that Shadab Khan’s performance in the Asia Cup left too much to be desired but Pakistan decided to retain all three of him, Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir. The department which Pakistan could struggle a bit would be the third seamer given there is no Naseem Shah and Babar also admitted that they will miss the young pacer, who has done well across all formats for the side.
“Surely, we will miss him a lot. He was bowling with the new ball in three formats and the duo of Shaheen and Naseem together gave a different vibe. Unfortunately, we will miss him we chose to replace him with the best availability we had. It was difficult. We had a long discussion with coach, Mickey Arthur and Inzy Bhai and chose Hasan Ali because he has a lot of experience of playing in World Cups,” Babar added.
Pakistan’s World Cup squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim
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