Pakistani Pace Puzzle: Naseem Shah's Injury And The World Cup Challenge
Naseem Shah has suffered an injury and might not be a part of World Cup 2023 (Source: AP Photos)
Pakistan have slipped from their number 1 rank in ODI’s after getting eliminated from the Asia Cup. But what will worry them the most is the absence of one of their premier pacers in Naseem Shah. The 20 year old right arm pacer was ruled out of the World Cup due to a shoulder injury he sustained during the match versus India.
This is a big blow for Pakistan as he was impressive in the first 4 games of the Asia Cup with 4 wickets at an average of 20. He had impressed everyone with his ability to swing the ball and generate pace and bounce. With 32 wickets in only 14 matches he was set to be one of the up and coming pacers for Pakistan. The big challenge for the management will be to find the best possible replacement for him with the World just around the corner.
Naseem's Stats in Pakistan's Wins and losses
Naseem's Win/Loss/No Result Cause Wickets since 2022 in ODIs
Naseem Shah has made brilliant strides in international cricket at such a young age. There is no doubt that he has potential to be a future star for Pakistan, but his stats in wins and losses are interesting. In Pakistan wins Naseem Shah has a great record. This is not surprising since he has been one of the pioneers of Pakistan’s great run in ODI’s this season. This explains the exceptional numbers of 26 wickets in 11 matches at a brilliant economy of 4.45.
The average of 15.2 is phenomenal as well which indicates that he has not only been economical but has also made vital breakthroughs. The strike rate of 20.5 makes it clear that batters had problems against him due to his extra pace and bounce. The dot percentage of 65.3% indicates that he has also not given a lot of freebies away. His stats in losses however are slightly underwhelming compared to the stats in wins.
Naseem Shah has only managed 3 wickets in 2 innings in losses. Even the economy of 6.11 is very high and especially the average of 37. Even the dot percentage has gone down to 58.7%. Even though these numbers are not that great, the fact that he has been on the winning side 78.57% in his career proves that he has been a great asset to his team.
The absence of Naseem Shah isn’t only a major problem for Pakistan but for Naseem Shah himself as well. He was a young prodigy about to make his debut in the biggest international tournament. This will be disappointing as he had not only done enough to get into the squad but also be the regular pick in the playing eleven as well. The Pakistan management will have a tough job to find a pacer who can do as much damage as him with the new and old ball.
Pakistan might have a lot of options with them but none of them seem as talented and fierce as Naseem who was looking threatening against world class batters like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. This will also be a challenge for young players like Zaman Khan, Mohd Wasim Jr and Shahnawaz Dahani who will most likely take his place. In conclusion it will be a tough pick for the management to solve this pace problem with just a few days to go for the World Cup.