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Islamabad United’s bowling woes would worry Pakistan’s team management for the World Cup!

Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan are permanent fixtures in Pakistan white ball cricket teams. Ruman Raees is coming after a layoff of a year due to horrid injury but would have hoped to use PSL as a platform to make a comeback in the Pakistan side. It isn’t much celebrated in by in Champion Trophy Semi Final, from the cold came Rumman to help strangle the Englishmen. Given his unique skill set, he would be in consideration at least for T20s.

But the PSL has proven that he needs more work, and more time to recover his best form. He wasn’t given a stretch of games initially but when the business end of the tournament started, Rumman was once again in the spotlight. Going at close to 9 runs per over in 8 games would have raised doubts about his readiness.

Shadab Khan, was once again sporadic. The usual reliability he offers Sarfraz in the Pakistan set up was missing. He struggled to find the right pace to bowl at on these flat wickets. This also impacted his lengths. The wicket threatening googly wasn’t on display as often as he would have liked. He was also taken for 7.38 runs per over and took 11 wickets at an average of 31. That is high for a bowler of his quality. With the bat his contributions were fairly limited too.

Faheem Ashraf, was amongst the wickets with 21. He was fairly reliable, bowling when the pressure was on. Often he outsmarted most batsmen. However, on a couple of crucial occasions, he would have hoped he did better. Like in the qualifier, after a bowling decent 4th over, Faheem missed his leg stump Yorker, costing a six. What would have been an entirely acceptable 8 runs per over spell, went up to over 9.5. Despite decent numbers overall, Faheem’s improvement in the recent year or so and his intelligence should reap him greater rewards in high pressure games. With the bat too, a highest score of 31, that too in a losing cause should concern the all-rounder. There is a lot more potential in him.

Rumman Raees, has now go back to domestic cricket and try to just bowl overs. His skill set is unique and at his best he is a different option for Pakistan. This World Cup may have come too for him, but he should aim for the World T20 to be held next year.

Shadab Khan has been given a rest for the UAE series, Faheem is in the squad. Perhaps he would be rested in some of the matches. But it would be vital for Pakistan that he shows some quality with the bat and win a game for them with the ball. Both all rounders are key to Pakistan’s fortunes at the World Cup.


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