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India vs Pakistan: Waqar Younis Expects Leg-Spinner Shadab to Return for India Clash

Cricketnext Staff |June 13, 2019, 8:40 PM IST
India vs Pakistan: Waqar Younis Expects Leg-Spinner Shadab to Return for India Clash

Former Pakistan Captain and coach Waqar Younis believes Pakistan must reintroduce leg-spinner Shadab Khan into their line-up for the clash against India on Sunday. Shadab was surprisingly left out in the defeat against Australia as Pakistan chose to play without a specialist spinner. Younis believes he must return to the mix, with the experienced Shoaib Malik most likely being the player to sit out.

"Shadab is the key man in this side and I think they will look to bring him back against India. They might go for five bowlers, use four pacers and Shadab and drop someone like Shoaib Malik," Younis wrote in his column for ICC.

"Going from a defeat to playing the old rivalry against India isn't going to be easy. India probably watched the Australia game very closely and know what needs to be done. Pakistan need to lift themselves up and I hope they bring their best on Sunday."

The other player Younis expects to important in the clash is opening bowler Mohammad Amir, who showed sparkling form against the Aussies, picking up a five-wicket haul. Younis though was disappointed with the support he received from the other bowlers.

"Early on, we were not really sharp enough and Sarfaraz was not on his toes. Mohammad Amir didn't get any support from the other end," he said.

"No-one really saw the comeback coming and for that, you have to take your hat off to Amir. Full marks to him for the way he bowled. Even with the new ball, I thought he bowled quite nicely. He could have picked up more than five wickets in the end. He was unfortunate with a couple of nicks early on.

“Amir bowled superbly. He showed us all his cutters, variations and short pitched deliveries. I think we all know Amir is mentally very, very strong. He showed once again that class is permanent – he is no doubt a match-winner.”

Pakistan have lost two of their four matches so far and have had one game washed out, leaving them at the bottom end of the points table. Younis has urged his former wards to “pull up their socks” for this encounter that may well decide their future in the tournament.

"It's simple - if Pakistan want to stay in the tournament, they have to bring an 'A plus' performance and win that game," Waqar wrote. "When Pakistan play India it's always a huge game, but their meeting on Sunday is shaping up to be more crucial than ever.

"Pakistan have got to take positives out of what they did to India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy a couple of years ago. They must think positively going into this game.

"I hope they have got their best game in the locker for India, who showed against Australia that they are a very fine side.

“What I have seen in this World Cup so far is that if you don’t pick up early wickets, you’re in trouble. The new ball is so crucial and openers are being more careful in the first ten overs this year. They're not really going full throttle, they are being a bit more watchful.”

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more