Why Shaheen and Shadab Didn’t Bowl in Pakistan vs. New Zealand Match
In their first warm-up match for the ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistan faced off against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India, resulting in a five-wicket defeat for the Green Shirts. Despite Pakistan’s impressive batting performance, scoring 345 runs while batting first, it wasn’t enough to secure a victory. The Black Caps managed to chase down the target in just 43.4 overs. The unexpected loss left many cricket enthusiasts questioning the overall performance of the Babar Azam-led team and, notably, why two of Pakistan’s key players, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan, did not deliver a single over.
Surprisingly, sources revealed that the decision to keep both Shaheen and Shadab away from the bowling crease was a part of the team’s strategic approach. It was a conscious choice made by the team management. The strategy behind this decision was to offer more match practice to those bowlers who have had limited opportunities to showcase their skills in recent months. In essence, the management aimed to distribute the workload and provide valuable playing time to those who needed it most.
This strategy aligns with the team’s broader objective of acclimatizing all 15 members of the squad during the warm-up matches. The intent is to help players adjust to different playing conditions, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges ahead in the ICC World Cup 2023.
The warm-up matches serve as a crucial preparation phase for Pakistan, helping them fine-tune their strategies, address weaknesses, and build confidence before entering the main tournament. The Green Shirts are set to face Australia on October 3 in their second warm-up match before embarking on their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6.
Pakistan’s Squad for the ICC World Cup 2023
- Babar Azam (c)
- Abdullah Shafique
- Fakhar Zaman
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
- Shadab Khan
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Usama Mir
- Haris Rauf
- M. Wasim Jnr
- Hasan Ali
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Saud Shakeel
- Salman Ali Agha
Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan.
Pakistan’s World Cup Schedule
- October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad
- October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad
- October 14 — vs India in Ahmedabad
- October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru
- October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai
- October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai
- October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata
- November 4 — vs New Zealand in Bengaluru (Day match)
- November 11 — vs England in Kolkata
The day matches are scheduled to start at 10:00 AM Pakistan Standard Time (PST), while all other matches will be day-night fixtures commencing at 01:30 PM (PST).
Should Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will be playing in Kolkata. If India also reaches the semi-finals and faces Pakistan, the match will take place in Kolkata; otherwise, India’s semi-final will be in Mumbai. These arrangements underscore the excitement and anticipation surrounding potential India-Pakistan encounters, which are always a highlight of any cricket tournament.