Before the official start of Cricket World Cup 2023, in the warm-up match against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India, despite giving a big target, Pakistan has faced a defeat by five wickets.
Batting first, Pakistan scored 345 runs for the loss of five wickets, but New Zealand achieved the desired target in the 44th over thanks to the aggressive batting of their batsmen.
After this match, where there is a big question mark on the performance of Pakistani bowlers, in the field of batting, looking at the game played by Saud Shakeel, who was include in the team as a ‘wild card entry’ by Pakistan.
The expectations of Pakistani fans have definitely been attach to the team’s middle order. Before going to the Asia Cup, the biggest worry for Pakistan was whether the middle order of the Pakistani team would be able to perform in this big tournament or not.
But after watching Pakistan’s batting in the first warm-up match of the World Cup, some worries definitely removed.
After Saud Shakeel’s innings of 75 runs off 53 balls with the help of five fours and four sixes, his name seems to be trending on X (formerly Twitter).
Saud Shakeel, who hails from Karachi, started his ODI career with a match against England in Cardiff in 2021, but he has been able to represent Pakistan in only six matches in more than two years.
He was not a part of the team in the series against New Zealand this year, but he performed well in the Test series against Sri Lanka.
In the recently held Asia Cup, his name was include in the squad at the last moment, but he could not play a match.
In the last match against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, he was the part of the playing eleven, but due to illness, he could not play this match.
However, after his performance in the warm-up match, cricket fans seem to be fans of him.
“Saud Shakeel is a surprise from us for the Cricket World Cup”.
A user named Atif Nawaz praised his brilliant innings of 75 runs off 53 balls and wrote, “An impressive and charming innings by Saud Shakeel. Some of the strokes played by Saud at the end of the innings were excellent. His high drives, and aggressive batting were very pleasing to watch, now I am sure he will be included in the playing XI for Pakistan.
A really impressive, eye catching innings from Saud Shakeel. Some of the strokeplay, particularly towards the end of the innings was simply sublime. Those lofted drives, the elegance aggression has been a joy to watch and I'm now certain he'll be in the starting XI for Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/yezfvvcInx— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) September 29, 2023
A user named Hamza Shehbaz wrote, “Saud Shakeel is a surprise from us for the Cricket World Cup, and it is a great decision to include him in the Pakistan squad.”
Saud Shakeel played both spinners and fast bowlers well and due to his brilliant innings, Pakistan managed to give New Zealand a good target, but what about the Pakistani bowlers!
Saud Shakeel is the first Pakistani batsman to score a double century at home against Sri Lanka in the same year.
If we talk about his Test career, he has scored at least a half-century or more in every innings in every Test match so far. Currently his batting average is 98.5.
Saud Shakeel has scored a lot of runs in first class cricket as well. In 65 first-class matches, he has scored 4844 runs with the help of 16 centuries and 23 fifties.
His top score in first-class cricket was 187. 28-year-old Saud Shakeel has played six ODIs so far, in which he has a strike rate of 71.02 and his best score is 76 runs off 56 balls.