3 pacers who can replace Naseem Shah in Pakistan's 2023 World Cup squad 

Pakistan Asia Cup Cricket
Naseem Shah could be out of the ODI World Cup 2023 [Getty Images]

While India lifted the coveted Asia Cup 2023 title, their arch-rivals Pakistan endured a tough campaign, failing to reach the final.

The Babar Azam-led unit lost against both India and Sri Lanka in the Super Fours stage, which capped off their disappointing campaign. The team not only failed to perform as a whole but also dealt with injuries during the tournament.

One of their star pacers, Naseem Shah, also suffered an injury during the Asia Cup game against India. Naseem failed to complete his quota of 10 overs in the game and was forced out of the field. It was later revealed that he had complained of a shoulder injury.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, the probability of Naseem playing at the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023 is low as well.

In the press conference following the game, captain Babar Azam made a suggestion that Naseem might not play in the initial stages of the World Cup. However, recent news indicates that the player won't be able to heal in time and will most likely miss the entire World Cup.

So, what are Pakistan's options? Let's look at three pacers who can be deemed possible replacements for Naseem Shah if the 20-year-old fails to recover in time.

#3 Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali has experience on his side [Getty Images]
Hasan Ali has experience on his side [Getty Images]

After falling out of favour with the senior team, there are reports suggesting that Hasan Ali could be added to Pakistan's squad for the ODI World Cup.

The right-armer is famously known for his menacing performances at the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Ali took 13 wickets in only five games at that event and also was the Player of the Tournament as Pakistan won the Champions Trophy title.

However, things haven't been rosy for him since then, with the seamer underperforming with the ball, especially since last year. Since 2022, he has bagged only seven wickets in nine international games across all formats for Pakistan.

As a result, the management dropped him from the team. His most recent appearance in international cricket came in January 2023, when he featured in a Test match against New Zealand.

However, if Pakistan want to add some experience to their pace attack, they could well look to give a wildcard entry to Ali for the World Cup. He has played 132 international games for his country and has bagged a total of 229 wickets across the three formats.

#2 Shahnawaz Dahani

Shahnawaz Dahani is a fiery pacer from Pakistan [Getty Images]
Shahnawaz Dahani is a fiery pacer from Pakistan [Getty Images]

Not too long ago, Shahnawaz Dahani was replaced by Naseem Shah in Pakistan's first team. Naseem's rapid rise in international cricket saw Dahani slip to the bench.

However, Pakistan could well give Dahani a chance to once again prove himself and slot into the first team. A pacer who hits the deck hard, the 25-year-old can be a good choice for Babar Azam and co. as he seems to have a knack of inflicting trouble on the opposition batters.

Dahani also has some international experience on his side, having played nine T20Is and a couple of ODIs for Pakistan thus far. He has taken a total of nine wickets across his 11 international games as well.

It is pertinent to note that Dahani flew to Sri Lanka on short notice during the recently concluded Asia Cup.

He came in as a backup for Haris Rauf, who picked up an injury during the team's encounter against India. However, his stay turned out to be short-lived, as Pakistan were knocked out of the tournament on the same day of his arrival.

#1 Zaman Khan

Zaman Khan made his ODI debut vs Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup 2023 [Getty Images]
Zaman Khan made his ODI debut vs Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup 2023 [Getty Images]

The bowler with the least amount of ODI cricket experience on the list, Zaman Khan, could well be another option for Pakistan.

The youngster recently made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in an Asia Cup 2023 fixture. Despite Pakistan going on to lose the game by two wickets, Zaman impressed everyone with his bowling.

While he failed to pick up any wickets, he bowled with a big heart. Tasked with defending just eight runs in the final over of the game, the 22-year-old dished out some brilliant yorkers and almost won his side the crucial game.

With his slingy action, Zaman could be an unorthodox pick for Pakistan going into the World Cup. He could complement the other two guaranteed pacers, Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, very well and could also provide assistance in death bowling.

Zaman might be Pakistan's choice for the forthcoming ICC mega event, especially given that Babar Azam trusted him to bowl a few crucial overs in the Asia Cup as well.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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