Pakkistan pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are in danger of being ruled out of Asia Cup 2023 after suffering injuries during their Super 4 match against India at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Pakistan Cricket Board drafted Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan as backups for the remainder of the tournament. Though the PCB chose not to reveal much about the extent of Haris and Naseem’s injuries it appears that both the right-arm seamers are unlikely to take part in Pakistan’s must-win last Super 4 match against Sri Lanka on Thursday. With the World Cup barely a few weeks away, the Pakistan team management would not want to risk two of their premier fast bowlers.
“This is only a precautionary measure keeping in mind the fitness and well-being of the players ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next month. Haris and Naseem will continue to remain under the observation of the team’s medical panel. The team management will only request a replacement from the ACC technical committee if Naseem or Haris are ruled out for the next seven days,” said PCB in a media release late on Monday.
The India vs Pakistan match was played in two days as the rain did not allow it to be finished on Sunday. Pakistan bowlers had to come back and bowl the remaining 25.5 overs in sweltering conditions on the reserve day. Haris did not turn on the reserve day. Before the start of play on Monday, PCB informed that the pacer had complained of a “discomfort in his right flank”. Although scans did not reveal a tear, he was given rest as a precautionary measure. Rauf had bowled 5 overs on Sunday.
Naseem, on the other hand, suffered an injury towards the end of India’s innings on the reserve day. He decided to walk off the field after bowling two balls in the 49th over. The remaining four deliveries were bowled by part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed.
Haris and Naseem did not come out to bat either. Pakistan were considered all out when India took the 8th wicket registering their biggest win against the neighbours by 228 runs. Considering the situation of the match, it was a wise decision from the Pakistan team management not to send the fast bowlers out in the middle to bat in a lost cause.
As far as the match was concerned, Virat Kohli (122*) and KL Rahul (111) hit blistering centuries after openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s half-centuries as India put on their joint-highest ODI total against Pakistan – 356/2. In reply, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya gave body blows to Pakistan before rain returned to halt proceedings. When play resumed, it was Kuldeep Yadav all the way. The left-arm wrist spinner picked 5/25 as Pakistan were bowled out for 128 – their third lowest total against India.