Saud Shakeel wasn’t in Pakistan’s World Cup plan two months ago: Hafeez

Hafeez commended Shakeel for his solid technique and gritty innings, emphasizing that Shakeel deserves significant credit for handling the pressure admirably

Saud Shakeel wasn’t in Pakistan’s World Cup plan two months ago: Hafeez PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan began their World Cup journey with a notable 81-run victory over the Netherlands.

In the match, the Men in Green posted a competitive total of 286 runs in 49 overs, featuring commendable performances from Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan, who both contributed 68 runs each.

Pakistan then successfully bowled out their opponents for 205 runs in 41 overs.

Hafeez characterized the win as "scratchy" rather than convincing. He acknowledged Shakeel's pivotal role in rescuing the innings when Pakistan faced adversity after losing three early wickets.

“Saud Shakeel rescued the innings when Pakistan were in trouble after losing three early wickets. He has a solid technique and played a gritty innings. He deserves massive credit for the way he handled the pressure,” Hafeez said.

Highlighting Shakeel's unexpected rise, Hafeez pointed out that just two months ago, Saud Shakeel was not even included in the team management's plans for ODIs.

“He wasn’t even in the team management’s plan for ODI two months ago. I have spent time with him in the dressing room and I know the passion he has for the game and how he wants to prove people wrong,” he concluded.