In a big news from the Pakistan cricket circuit, fast bowler Haris Rauf has suffered an injury strain ahead of the reserve day of their Super Fours match against India on Monday, September 11. The arm-arm speedster won’t take the field in what is being dubbed as a precautionary measure.
Morne Morkel, the bowling coach for Pakistan, stated during the official broadcast that Rauf had suffered an “oblique muscle strain.” With the ODI World Cup approaching, Morkel mentioned that they plan to rest him for now. He further noted that Rauf began experiencing discomfort during his second over on Sunday and has been a rest for one week before call on his participation in future games would be taken.
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What that essentially means is that Pakistan are left with three fast-bowling choices: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Faheem Ashraf in the ongoin match. Shadab Khan will be their primary spinner, while Iftikhar Ahmed and Agha Salman will provide part-time offspin options who could well come into the picture as the match remains a 50-overs contest for now and someone could have to fill in for the remaining 5 overs of Rauf’s 10-over quota.
On Sunday, Rauf bowled five overs without taking any wickets and gave away 27 runs. However, he managed to bring some stability to an innings where India’s openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, both scored half-centuries and built a strong partnership of 121 runs during a brisk start. Pakistan later fought back, dismissing both openers and slowing down the run rate. Nevertheless, India had already reached a score of 147 for the loss of two wickets at 24.1 overs from which point the match has resumed after a delayed start on Monday (September 11).
Rauf’s unavailability will raise concerns for Pakistan, as he has played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s bowling unit. He has been in excellent form and is a crucial component of the bowling attack, often taking the ball as the first change bowler after Afridi and Naseem. Additionally, he currently shares the position of the tournament’s top wicket-taker with nine wickets from four matches.