“Miracles happen to those who believe,” Shadab on saving his World Cup aspiration

All-rounder Shadab Khan of Pakistan emphasized on Thursday that his struggling colleagues still think “miracles can happen” as the defending champions face a “do-or-die” struggle to turn around their dismal World Cup campaign.

Following victories over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka to start the campaign, the 1992 winners were soundly defeated by Australia and India before being humbled by their neighbors, Afghanistan, in their final match.

They will put their resources to the test once more on Friday when they play the prolific South Africa, who have won four of their last five games and have forgotten their shocking defeat to the Netherlands.

“We have under-performed in all three departments — batting, bowling, and fielding,” stated Shadab.

“We have not played good cricket but have bounced back from such situations.”

Pakistan can still advance to the semifinals with four group games remaining, but there won’t be much room for error.

They must win on Friday, but they also need to raise their -0.40 net run-rate, which might be the difference in deciding who advances to the semifinals.

“Miracles happen if you have belief,” captain Babar Azam’s deputy Shadab stated.

“We have not played like we were playing before the World Cup but from tomorrow we have to start a winning streak.”

He continued: “When you are in a do-or-die position then I think the pressure is less because you have nothing to lose.”

Of the Pakistani squad, Shadab is only one of many who hasn’t fired up to par.

In his three appearances, the 25-year-old leg-spinner has taken two wickets at a 90.00 average and scored 74 runs.

Before being called up to play Afghanistan, he was benched for the match against Australia.

Shadab, who scored 40 in the losing effort against Afghanistan, said, “When you don’t do well, the criticism is valid but there are ups and downs in a player’s performance so I am confident that I will improve.”

Shadab maintains that they have moved past their shocking eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan in a match that was also played in Chennai.

He maintains that victory will ideally allay the criticism that has been building ever since India lost the World Cup to them eight times in a row.

“I usually advise the athletes that if they plan to participate in a competition like this

“If you perform then everyone says that ‘he is doing so well’, but when you are not performing then the same people will say ‘he is not good enough’.”

He continued: “It’s the mentality that when someone is not in the team, then they are the best and when someone is in the team they are the worst.”

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