Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim feels that spinner Shadab Khan will be “important for Pakistan’s chances at the World Cup”.
Qasim noted that in addition to being an excellent spinner, Shadab is also handy with the bat as he has scored three half-centuries and averages 29.40 in the 34 ODIs he has played.
However, Shadab is in a race against time to be fit for the showpiece event as he contracted a virus, which is believed to be Hepatitis C, from improperly sterilized dental instruments.
He has been ruled out of the upcoming limited overs series against England and replaced by fellow spinner Yasir Shah.
The limited overs series between England and Pakistan will consist of a one-off Twenty20 International and five ODIs, and run from May 5 to 19.
Qasim admitted that should Shadab not make a full recovery in time for the World Cup, it would be a massive blow for Pakistan.
“Shadab Khan is an asset for the green caps and his presence in the playing XI gives a huge boost to the national team as he can not only bowl exceptional deliveries, but is also more than handy with the bat and an excellent fielder as well,” he told The Nation. “He is quick and sharp, and uses his brain according to the situation.
“Yasir Shah on the other hand is not a bad replacement as he is also a quality leg-spinner. But he is not good with the bat and is also not known for his fielding expertise. If Shadab can’t get fit prior to the World Cup, it would be a setback for Pakistan. He is important for Pakistan’s chances at the World Cup.”
Pakistan will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31.