Pakistan cricket team’s vice-captain Shadab Khan’s form has become a matter of concern among fans as the 24-year-old isn’t having the best time, both with the ball and the bat.
After a poor Asia Cup 2023 run, where he failed to contribute big with the bat and couldn’t provide his side a breakthrough with the ball as well, his subpar performance continued in the ICC World Cup 2023 warm-up matches.
A debate has been going on among Pakistani fans, as a portion of them want to see their favourite Shadab donning the green jersey in the World Cup, while others want Usama Mir to get a chance.
After Mir put on a spectacular display against Australia on Tuesday, taking two important wickets, the case of Shadab is getting weaker as even today, the 24-year-old couldn’t deliver with the ball as well as the bat.
The Aussies were off to a great start and were looking to hit the 100-run mark without losing a wicket when Mir picked two wickets in two consecutive overs, removing their openers, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh for 48 and 31 respectively.
Similarly, Mark Butcher, former England cricketer, weighed on this issue saying that Mir could be Pakistan’s “X” factor during the World Cup.
“Usama Mir is the guy for them,” said Butcher. “Watching him during the PSL in February and March, and then he had a really good Hundred for the Manchester Originals with the bat and with the ball. Shadab’s been bowling kind of hit-me’s [deliveries] for a long, long time now. Really just lost all of his bite and it just seems to go out of the park every time he lets it go.”
He then went on to say that Mir playing with the left-arm orthodox spinner Mohammad Nawaz would be beneficial for the Green Shirts.
“I think they might have to be a little smart here. I’d play Mohammad Nawaz here with Usama Mir, if they are going to go with double spin.”