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Junaid Khan, the Pakistan left-arm seamer, admitted he is worried about the fact that spinner Shadab Khan “already has some fitness issues.”
Shadab is only 24 years old and more importantly, he is Pakistan’s limited overs vice-captain.
Considering he could replace Babar Azam as captain some day, Junaid pointed out that it is important he works on his fitness so that he continues to be available for selection and performs at the highest level.
“He already has some fitness issues,” Junaid said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Shadab was not picked for Pakistan’s 2-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka, but was selected for the recent ODI series against Afghanistan, which the men in green won 3-0.
In that series, the Mianwali native took four wickets in three matches at an average of 23.75.
Most recently, he participated in the Asia Cup and finished with six wickets in five games at an average of 40.83.
Pakistan kicked off their campaign with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India after their match was ruined by rain.
Despite this, they made it to the Super Four stage and beat Bangladesh by seven wickets.
In their next game against India, Pakistan’s momentum stalled as they were crushed by 228 runs.
They still had a chance to qualify for the Asia Cup final, but couldn’t do it as they lost to Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir