ICC World Cup 2023: Why Hasan Ali is unlikely to trouble Indian batsmen in big match

Hasan Ali took four wickets against Sri Lanka, but India will be a different game in Ahmedabad where Pakistan will miss Naseem Shah


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Pakistan's Hasan Ali celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis during the match in Hyderabad. — AFP
Pakistan's Hasan Ali celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis during the match in Hyderabad. — AFP

Published: Thu 12 Oct 2023, 1:56 PM

Hasan Ali is not the most potent new ball option in the absence of Naseem Shah and Pakistan cricket establishment has erred in not grooming a quality fast bowler for desperate times, feels former pacer Aaqib Javed.

Aaqib, who is currently a fast-bowling coach with PSL side Lahore Qalandars, has played a pivotal role in the emergence of Haris Rauf as a quality white ball operator.

“If you look at the new ball pairing, they haven't groomed anyone in the last 12 months. The selectors didn't know if not Naseem, who could be the third new ball bowling option. They didn't try anyone during the Asia Cup,” Aaqib said.

Pakistan have won both their World Cup matches so far.

They had defeated Netherlands in the opening game, and then went past Sri Lanka in Hyderabad but the 344 runs conceded in that match remains a genuine concern.

“Hasan Ali, if you look at his record, has never been outstanding with the new ball. So, on days, if Shaheen (Shah Afridi) gets stuck, there could be problems," said Aaqib, a key member of the 1992 World Cup winning squad.

For the record, although Hasan scalped four wickets against Sri Lanka, he gave away 71 runs in his quota of 10 overs.

The other option in the squad is Muhammed Wasim Junior, who is currently sitting in the dugout.

"If you look at Wasim junior, there are a lot of games where he hasn't even completed his quota of 10 overs."

Aaqib believes in Nasem's absence, only Afridi has that aura to scare the living daylights out of batters.

"If you remember the opening Asia Cup game and Shaheen's spell, the Indian batters were not playing Shaheen's deliveries but was trying to play Shaheen. That aura…Pakistan's bowling is missing now, that overall impact I would say," said Aaqib.

Having worked closely with Rauf, Aaqib feels that his slot in bowling unit shouldn't be tinkered with.

"Haris is best suited for one change. With his pace, he can control the middle overs and death overs bowling," said Aaqib, who picked 182 ODI wickets for Pakistan.

But what hasn't impressed Aaqib is Shadab Khan's lack of consistency in the middle overs which increases pressure on Haris.

"Shadab is the vice-captain of this side and he has to create the impact from the other end. If you are under pressure upfront, someone like Haris can you bring you back in the game provided there is pressure from the other side. Our biggest problem has been the spinners as we don't have too many options in the middle overs,” said Aaqib.

Aaqib, who could reverse the white ball quite a bit during his time, feels that in this era, the Indian grounds have become far better and there is very little scope for reverse swing.

"The Indian ground conditions have changed from times we had gone to India. The new stadiums have lush green outfield and pitches aren't as abrasive as it used to be. In these conditions, getting reverse swing isn't an easy thing," he added.


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