All-rounder Shadab Khan looked set to bounce back after recovering from concussion, while skipper Babar Azam was focused on finally making his mark in the tournament as Pakistan had a full-fledged net session on Wednesday ahead of their World Cup match that will is won. against England in Kolkata. After two days of relaxation in Kolkata, the Pakistani players had a three-hour training session in the afternoon focusing on all three departments of the game. Shadab started rolling his arm for the first time after their match against South Africa where he was ruled out due to concussion.
The 25-year-old fell awkwardly under the field and was hit in the head. He had to be replaced by debutant Usama Mir as a replacement for concussion and then missed their last two matches against Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Shadab bowled with full intent and was also seen batting at the nets.
Babar’s inconsistency has been a bit of a letdown for Pakistan in the batting department.
He has four half-centuries from eight innings and not once has the No. 3 been able to convert it into a three-figure score. Babar has also lost his No. 1 ODI batter ranking.
Due to a major knock, Babar was the last to line up but was seen spending the maximum time at the nets, especially against their pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi.
He also used sweep shots for the spinners to counter the likes of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in spin-friendly Eden conditions.
Pacer Haris Rauf, who had an injury scare on his left rib and went for an MRI, was also seen in full flow.
A “fresh” wicket, yet to be used in this World Cup, will be on offer for Pakistan’s crucial clash on Saturday.
The wicket had some green patches three days before the match and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) curator Sujan Mukherjee said it would be a “good batting pitch”.
“The pitch offers spin and behaves differently due to dew this time. I am not sure how much grass will be held, there is still some time left for the match,” Mukherjee told PTI.
The Eden pitch has behaved tricky this time and only once in three matches was a 300 plus total achieved, that too after much fight from the Indian batsmen against South Africa.
In reply, batting South Africa folded for 83.
Their campaign hangs in the balance, with Pakistan fighting for fourth place and setting up a semi-final clash with table toppers India.
New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan are each separated by eight points by net run rate as all face must-win situations.
While New Zealand are set to take on Sri Lanka, Afghanistan face the toughest challenge facing South Africa in their final group stage match.
Australia and South Africa are set to meet in the other semi-final.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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