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Friday Sep 10 2021

T20 World Cup: Pakistan not in an 'ideal situation', admits Shadab Khan

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan. Photo: file
Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan. Photo: file

  • Shadab Khan says skipper Babar Azam is behind the squad. 
  • Shadab says Ramiz wants Pakistan to play aggressive cricket.
  • Vice-captain admits transformation will be difficult. 

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan has admitted that heading into the Men's ICC T20 World Cup, the national squad is not in an "ideal situation" as it looks to switch gears and play a different form of cricket altogether.

The cricketer was speaking to the media at a virtual press conference where he also spoke about players’ meeting with Ramiz Raja, who is in line to be the next Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman.

Shadab said that the incoming chairman wanted the national side to play aggressive cricket, adding that the national squad will have to switch gears and transform completely.

"So it is a complete transformation from what we have been pursuing in the recent past. We would now pursue a new brand of cricket. We are not ideally placed going into the World Cup as we have to change gears from here on," he said.

"We may not be consistent but that happens when you are in transformation. What we need is support from all around, especially from the media. I would request for patience as unnecessary criticism would take us nowhere," he added.

‘Aggression is on our DNA’

Asked about the cricketers’ recent meeting with Ramiz Raja, the all-rounder said it was all about pursuing aggressive and modern cricket.

When asked about the team selection for the tournament, Shadab said it wasn't his place to discuss it, adding that it would only lead to negativity. He said Chief Selector Muhammad Waseem had chosen the team for the upcoming international assignments and that was that.

On former coaches Misbah and Waqar resigning with only a few weeks left in the T20 World Cup, Shadab said it was their personal decision and that "we want to move forward and make the best of the available situation."

"It is useless to think of what could and should have been there. Now when the World Cup is approaching fast, we don’t want to get into negativity," he said.

Shadab Khan praised skipper Babar Azam, saying that he had always backed the national squad. Speaking about the transformation needed in the Pakistan squad, the vice-captain said it wouldn't be an issue as "aggression is on our DNA."

"When the team is gelled and the captain is behind you, you are ideally placed to bring out the best. We will keep on developing that culture," he added.

‘I am ready’

On his individual performance, Shadab Khan regretted that his career had been marred by injuries, after getting off to a great start in 2017.

"Recently, with the help of the coaches at the academy I have tried to overcome my flaws and now I am feeling better to play the brand of cricket, which my fans expect from me. I am an all-rounder so I want to play my role with bat and ball. After regaining my fitness I am ready for that," he said.

Commenting on the Pakistan-New Zealand series, he lamented that a lot of big players from the Kiwi squad were missing. He said that the inclusion of these players would have made the action more interesting for Pakistani cricket fans.

"Yet there are eight to nine regular ODI-playing members in the New Zealand team. Hopefully, the best brand of cricket would be on display at the Pindi Stadium," he added.