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ICC World Cup 2019 | Haris Sohail the inspiring change Pakistan needed, states Zaheer Khan

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ICC World Cup 2019 | Haris Sohail the inspiring change Pakistan needed, states Zaheer Khan

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SportsCafe Desk


Zaheer Khan feels that the addition of Haris Sohsil to the team has given Pakistan that extra impetus which had been lacking so far in the tournament. He further analysed the innings he played against South Africa and discussed the change in his style that has helped him achieve his recent success.

Pakistan has been severely criticized for their lack of effort on the pitch in the ongoing tournament, even though the players have denied it time and again. However, on Sunday, the team put up an inspired performance that had reflections of the attitude and desire to win which the fans had been wanting to witness in the team. The victory against the Proteas kept their hopes alive of a semi-final berth. 

“It has certainly been an inspiring change for Pakistan in the tournament. They needed someone to come in and take up that kind of responsibility, either from the existing playing XI or someone who has come from outside,” former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan said in a podcast for Cricbuzz. 

Sohail’s quickfire 89 came off only 59 balls and was laced with nine fours and three huge sixes, leading Pakistan to a good total of 308/7. In the end, it proved to be too much for the opposition as they fell 50 runs short of the target. This was Sohail’s first game in the ongoing World Cup, replacing veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

“Now, when someone from outside comes in and does this kind of a shift in mindset and momentum of how you are playing cricket in that particular tournament, it goes a long way I feel. From Pakistan’s point of view, I think this can be the spark which they are looking for,” Khan added.

Sohail showed no mercy as he slaughtered South Africa’s strike bowler Kagiso Rabada with ease for a six down point which was one of the most memorable moments of the entire match. He was the only player to score a half-century apart from Babar Azam and the team would have been in deep trouble had it not been for his man of the match performance. 

“Haris Sohail is looking like a good player, he is someone who was not looking stuck since the time he walked in, he was using the pace nicely. Predominantly a back foot player but he is very sure of his game plan. He knows what his areas are and he sticks to that. We’ve seen some of the shots he played on the up through the offside and the midwicket region. He knew exactly where the gaps are This shows he is sure of his areas and as a batsman, he has this clarity which shows in his numbers and how he has changed his game,” Khan said of the 30-year-old.

Having made his debut in 2013, Sohail has been in and out of the team and has been a decent performer but has not been able to capitalize on the starts he often gets. Until 2018, he had scored at an average of 43. However, in the last two years, he has scored  643 runs at a significantly improved average of 53.58.

“He has understood his areas and how to score runs because you can have all the shots in the book but how to use them in the match when the pressure in, how the overs stack up, is what comes with experience. Batsman learns that art as they go along and once they figure it out, we see the results which we saw today,” Khan concluded on the matter.

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