Shadab sets sights on becoming world’s best bowler

Pakistan spinner puts his weight behind team management ahead of Zimbabwe tour

Shadab sets sights on becoming world’s best bowler Photo: AFP

Pakistan spin sensation Shadab Khan wants to be the best bowler in the world in T20 cricket and has set his sights on achieving that target.

Shadab, who is currently ranked second in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I rankings, was speaking to the media after the Pakistan training camp had ended for the day at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The 19-year-old, when asked whether he would get competition from Afghanistan teenage spin sensation Rashid Khan — who pipped him to the top — in their race for the top spot, said that he respects Rashid as a bowler, but will do all he can to cement his place at the top.

“Rashid Khan is an amazing bowler. I have played the U19 World Cup with him and he is a great talent. But I have been given a chance to prove myself and I will definitely try to be the best bowler in the world,” he said.

Shadab further said that he trusts the team management in their decisions and that he is willing to do whatever is required to help Pakistan win matches, even if that means his position in the team is compromised.

 “Whatever is required from me I will try to deliver. If the management wants me to play down the order then I have no problems, if they want me to play up the order I will do that. I have no preference; my only aim is to help the team in whatever way I can,” he said.

Yasir Shah, who primarily has plied his trade in Test cricket for Pakistan, has been recalled for the ODI series against Zimbabwe and many feel that this is preparation for the 2019 World Cup.

However, when Shadab was asked whether that means his place in the team is in doubt, he said: “The things that Yasir Shah has done for Pakistan are amazing. He is my senior and has been a crucial part of the Pakistan side in Test cricket. I pray that he plays well in the ODIs and picks up the man of the series award. In the end, whoever is the better player for the team will go to the World Cup.”

Shedding light on how the preparations for the Zimbabwe tour, which includes a tri-nation series with the hosts and Australia followed by a five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, are going, Shadab revealed that the squad is quite well-prepared.

“The preparations are going well, especially because of the training camp that is under way. The T20I series against Scotland has helped a lot and all of us are feeling confident at the moment,” he said.

The three-day training camp started on Monday, June 25, 2018 and will end on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, while the team will leave for Zimbabwe on June 28.