Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Eoin Morgan highlighted Pakistan’s areas of concerns ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, which begins next month.
Hussain said that Pakistan’s spin department has not performed well in the recent past, which could be a major concern since the conditions in India will suits the slower bowlers.
"Shaheen Shah Afridi is fit at the moment; Haris Rauf, in the last, previous Asia Cup game, got injured; Naseem Shah, they say, may not be ready for the first game of the World Cup. That is a seriously potent bowling attack, and those three seamers in particular, and you know they have got the number one ranked in Babar Azam. We know what he can do,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.
“Fakhar Zaman has been a bit out of nick recently, but he's top of the order. And Mohammad Rizwan with Babar is also the regular run-getter that goes to the whole innings.
"One thing that they lack, which is unusual for Pakistan, is their spinners are a little bit out of form. Shadab Khan hasn't been that good recently. So, in a World Cup in India, you want that threat from the spin, but one thing with Pakistan is that they are a big, big ICC event tournament side. They can be awful, and then suddenly, they can go on a roll. They are that sort of a nation, that sort of a cricketing side. Because they are mercurial, one day they'll be very low, and next day they'll be outstanding.”
Meanwhile, Morgan said that his primary concern was the fitness of Pakistan’s pacers.
"I certainly think they have enough oomph; it's what we have seen in big moments throughout the tournament. It should be a learning curve for them, and it certainly should be used that way, so close to the World Cup that we are not going back to the way we played in Sri Lanka; it's a case of moving things forward," Morgan said.
"My biggest concern for Pakistan is the fitness of their seamers. I think Shadab does a good enough job with his wrist spin. In ICC trophies, he always comes out as a batter who bowls; the fitness levels of Faheem Ashraf, with an all-rounding ability to contribute at 7 or 8, is important as well. It's not always your top order who'll score; you need to have a balanced side that will make the team comfortable enough to play and take risks," he concluded.