Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes the Men in Green must finalize their first-choice XI before the World Cup begins.
Shoaib, the retired pace sensation, has raised questions about Pakistan's team combination and overall form as they gear up for the World Cup, a concern stemming from their elimination from the Asia Cup courtesy of a loss to Sri Lanka on Thursday, September 14.
What problems did Shoaib Akthar identify in the Pakistan team ahead of the World Cup?
Akhtar has brought attention to the team's perceived weaknesses in the middle-order batting and the spin bowling department, underscoring the need for improved quality in these areas.
His counsel to the team involves putting faith in budding talents like Abdullah Shafique, who showcased his capabilities with an impressive fifty during his solitary outing in the Asia Cup.
Not in the playing XI initially, rumoured to be out of the World Cup squad, playing his first match in this Asia Cup, pressure situation against Sri Lanka in a knockout match and Abdullah Shafique smashes a brilliant fifty. That's his class. Pakistan ka chamakta sitara 🇵🇰💚… pic.twitter.com/dRgQHzEYRw— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) September 14, 2023
After Pakistan's setback against Sri Lanka, Shoaib offered his insights on the areas of concern that the Men in Green must be mindful of in a video on his YouTube channel, particularly as they gear up for the World Cup.
“From here, Pakistan need to look at their World Cup squad. My suggestion would be not to create any confusion and to prepare your final XI. You don't have depth in your middle order, you don't have quality spinners, you don't have a strong batting line-up. Abdullah Shafique is one of his kind and needs to be backed.”