Asia Cup 2023: Pakistani fast bowlers shine in tough conditions, says Naseem Shah

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Once again, Pakistan’s fast bowlers showcased their skill and resilience by dismantling the entire Indian batting lineup, a formidable opponent for the Men in Green due to their fierce cricket rivalry, in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 clash in Kandy.

Despite persistent rain interruptions at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium last Saturday, the Indian team was bowled out for 266, with all wickets falling to the pacers in the Pakistani squad.

However, young Pakistani seamer Naseem Shah has acknowledged that the current weather conditions in Sri Lanka are challenging for fast bowlers.

It’s worth noting that the cities hosting the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka are currently experiencing rainy weather.

Naseem Shah made these comments during a conversation with journalists in Lahore on Tuesday, where he discussed the team’s preparations for the upcoming match. The opponent for the match is yet to be determined, with potential contenders being Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh.

Shah mentioned, “The whole team is taking care of themselves as there is a lot of traveling, and the weather is hot here [Pakistan] and there [Sri Lanka] as well.” He added that everyone is focused on recovery and staying prepared for the game.

When asked about the potential face-off with arch-rivals India, the fast bowler stated, “Currently, the focus is on tomorrow’s match. We will see when there is a match with India.” He expressed his desire for Pakistan to reach the finals, regardless of the opponent. “It is our wish to win the final,” he remarked.

Reflecting on his experience of playing his first-ever one-day international match against Indian batsmen after the Babar Azam-led team’s match against India, the 20-year-old pacer shared his insights.

“It was a wonderful experience, and I bowled very well. You know the one-day format is different than T20; I have played T20Is against them,” said Shah, who boasts the best economy rate (3.83) among Pakistani bowlers in the ongoing Asian event.

He emphasized the need for patience in ODIs and mentioned that the early stages of the match provided assistance in terms of seam and swing movement. Shah concluded by saying, “You can just do your best and bowl at good lengths, and that is what I did.”