Mushtaq Ahmed reveals reason behind Shadab Khan’s poor form

Leg-spinner has been unable to perform well during the recent past

Mushtaq Ahmed reveals reason behind Shadab Khan’s poor form PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has revealed the reason behind Shadab Khan’s poor form, with the ball, in the recent past.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Mushtaq said that injuries and lack of a repeatable bowling action is affecting Shadab’s bowling. 

“Shadab has remained injured a lot during the past six months, which has affected his bowling. The only way he will get his rhythm back is by bowling long spells in four-day cricket. Leg-spin is a difficult art and you can’t be effective if your confidence is down. Shadab is a very smart cricketer and understands the game really well, I’m sure he will come back strong. His attitude towards the game makes him a valuable asset for Pakistan cricket,” said Mushtaq.

“He also needs to make his bowling action more repeatable so that he doesn’t worry about where his ball will land and instead keep his focus on getting wickets,” he added.

The Multan Sultans’ spin bowling coach, Mushtaq, also spoke about his team’s triumphant run the in the recently concluded HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six.

“The coaches can only be effective when players execute their plans properly and this is exactly what our team did. A big role in making this happen was played by Rizwan who led the side really well,” he said. “Momentum is very key in this form of cricket. We had a good side in the Karachi leg as well but couldn’t win but as soon as we won our first match in Abu Dhabi, our team got the self-belief that we can win this tournament.”

He also heaped praise on young pacer Shahnawaz Dahani, who was the leading wicket-taker in the event.

“Shahnawaz Dahani has a very repeatable action so we don’t need to tinker with that too much. The only thing he needs is tactical guidance about how to bowl to a particular batsman. The great thing about him is that he understands the plans really quickly and implements them,” he said.

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“Dahani leaked some runs in one or two matches but we knew that he is a match winner which is why we backed him. I gave him my example of 1992 World Cup, where captain Imran Khan asked me to focus on taking wickets rather than thinking about the runs I was conceding. He has a bright future ahead of him and hopefully we can protect him,” he added.

Mushtaq also feels that Pakistan has a good chance of winning the upcoming limited-overs series against England, which starts with the first ODI on July 8.

“Pakistan needs to step on the ground without the fear of losing. We have match winners who can turn the complexion of the game,” he said. “I think England’s bowling is weak and Pakistan can take advantage of that. Meanwhile, inorder to counter their strong batting, we should play with five genuine bowlers to match their strength.”