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Shadab Khan’s absence leaves a gaping hole in Pakistan’s bowling

The bowling looked toothless without the leg spinner’s penetration

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Shadab Khan’s T20 numbers are outstanding. 44 wickets in 32 games, at under 6.9 runs per over is simply brilliant. What’s more he picks up a wicket every 16 balls. That amounts to 4 wickets every 3 games.

Having Shadab in the side just a bowler gives the Sarfraz a great advantage. He can bring him on when he wants wickets, or just to stop the flow of runs. Very few bowlers are capable enough to do both. What he does in the field and with the bat is a bonus. It is extremely challenging for the team management to find a replacement.

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And it showed yesterday. While the bowlers on display executed their plans to a large degree, the lack of penetration meant that Root and Morgan didn’t have to take undue risks. The match finished in the last over, but with only 3 wickets down. There was little swing or reverse swing on offer. Fast bowlers tried their best to go with a defensive plan. Yet England were good enough to get home comfortably.

In the ODIs Yasir Shah will come in but it doesn’t really fill one with hope. If Pakistan do well, Shadab Khan will be at the centre of it all. No news about his fitness, one hopes in the good news.

the authorAsjad Khan

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