'Hasan Ali has never been outstanding...': Pakistan's 1992 World Cup winning pacer fears the worst ahead of India clash
Aaqib Javed, a former Pakistani bowler, is sceptical of Hasan Ali's ability to handle the new ball and worries that Shaheen Afridi would struggle.
Following two convincing victories against Australia and Afghanistan, India turns its focus to the biggest match of them all: a World Cup matchup versus their fiercest foe. Pakistan, who will bring a 31-year baggage into the match on Saturday. a terrible three-decade losing run that has become a burden for them. Pakistan has never defeated India in seven 50-over World Cup matches dating back to 1992. While they managed to break the tie at the T20I World Cup two years ago, India still has an incredible 7-0 advantage in One-Day Internationals.
In a perfect world, Pakistan would have had the chance to write history with this match; in fact, considering how they played the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in their opening two World Cup 2023 matches, it's still possible, but they will be put to the test and defeated by a fierce Indian team.
Speedster Naseem Shah suffered a major setback just before the competition when he was excluded from both the Asia Cup and the World Cup. Although Hasan Ali was included by the selection committee, former Pakistani pacer Aaqib Javed is not overly optimistic about his chances.
Hasan has not played an ODI since June of last year until last week when he hit the pitch against Netherlands. Hasan was the Player of the Tournament in the 2017 Champions Trophy, which Pakistan won by defeating India in the final.
Aaqib, a member of the squad that won the World Cup in 1992, criticised the PCB for failing to develop more young pacers and believes that if Shaheen Afridi has a bad game against India, Pakistan may find themselves in serious difficulty.
They haven't groomed anyone in the past 12 months, based on the new ball pairing. The selectors were unaware that Naseem might be the third choice for bowling new balls if he wasn't. During the Asia Cup, nobody was tried. Looking at his record, Hasan Ali has never performed exceptionally well with the new ball. Thus, issues may arise on certain days if Shaheen (Shah Afridi) becomes stuck, Aaqib informed PTI.
In his past two matches against India, Shaheen has displayed strikingly different performances. Shaheen scored 4/35 in the Asia Cup league match between Pakistan and India, which resulted in a washout. However, eight days later, Shaheen was destroyed by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, who took him for 79 runs along with Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma.
Shaheen's performance against Sri Lanka, where he appeared to be battling and lacking pace, was more worrisome. Pakistan also has the option of Muhammad Wasim, but Aaqib feels that PCB should have done a better job of developing more pacers of the calibre of Shaheen.
"Recall that during Shaheen's period in the first Asia Cup match, the Indian hitters attempted to play Shaheen rather than matching his deliveries. The bowling of Pakistan has lost its aura and overall impact, according to Aaqib, who still retains the record for the best bowling stats in India-Pakistan ODI history (7/33).