Pakistan's Asia Cup 2023 campaign faces further uncertainty as injuries plague key players, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, casting doubt on their availability for upcoming matches.
Both players were unable to bat during Pakistan's clash with India, raising concerns about their participation in the tournament.
In the recent Super 4 match against India at the R. Premdasa Stadium, Rauf experienced discomfort in his right flank, leading to his absence on the reserve day.
On the other hand, Naseem Shah had to leave the field during the 49th over on the reserve day due to a shoulder injury. Consequently, both players did not participate in batting on Monday.
Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan are the backups for Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah
As a precautionary measure, the Pakistan camp chose not to send them out to bat, considering the impending 2023 World Cup. Currently, Rauf and Shah await the results of their scans.
To address this situation, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan have been called up as backup options. The team management is prepared to request replacements from the ACC Technical Committee should Rauf and Shah remain unavailable for the next seven days.
Pakistan's recent Super 4 encounter proved to be a challenging day for them in the Asia Cup. They conceded a formidable total of 356-2 in 50 overs, with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul delivering unbeaten centuries.
The Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill laid the foundation with a 121-run partnership, with only Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan making breakthroughs for Pakistan.
In their pursuit of a daunting 357, Pakistan faced further setbacks. Jasprit Bumrah claimed the early wicket of opener Imam-ul-Haq, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya outfoxed Babar Azam with a delivery that nipped back.
Rain temporarily halted play, and upon resumption, Fakhar Zaman top-scored with 27 runs, with Agha Salman and Iftikhar Ahmed contributing 23 runs each.
Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the standout performer among the Indian bowlers, capturing five wickets for just 25 runs. This performance helped restrict Pakistan to a total of 128 all-out, resulting in a resounding 228-run victory for India.
Team India is now set to face Sri Lanka in their next match on Tuesday, while Pakistan will take on the same opponents on Thursday, both teams eager to secure their place in the Asia Cup 2023.