Pakistan, Shadab Khan, ICC World Cup, World Cup
Shadab was picked in Pakistan’s provisional 15-member squad, but there were doubts harbouring over his health which would eventually result in him missing the World Cup. @ AFP

After his latest test results reflected zero viral load in his blood, Pakistan legspinner Shadab Khan is now eyeing a smooth return to his side and is mentally focusing on the task at hand. Shadab, who missed out on the ODI series against England which was expected to serve as preparation for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019, had to stay back due to a virus found in his blood during a routine medical check-up. He is now completely recovered and is expected to make it to the squad for the mega tournament.

“I was always very much hopeful because the viral found in my blood was at its initial stage,” said Shadab.

“With two weeks of medicine, it’s clear out of my blood. Now I am heading towards World Cup. Since we are going there regularly from last three years, it isn’t really difficult to acclimatise with the condition. All I have to do is get in my rhythm otherwise you are mentally prepared for the challenge.

“I have already played in a competitive tournament – champions trophy – which we won. Even though we lost few games, I know how to adapt myself in a big tournament.” (ALSO READ: England vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI: Jonny Bairstow’s 128 trumps Imam-ul-Haq’s 151)

Shadab was picked in Pakistan’s provisional 15-member squad, but there were doubts harbouring over his health which would eventually result in him missing the World Cup.

“When you suddenly get to know that you have viral in your blood so naturally I got frustrated but my teammates and friends have been very supportive,” he said of his illness.

“I had a strong belief that whatever happens, happens for a reason and for good. I was tensed up on the first day but then I told my friends that whatever happened it is done and if anything good happens it will happen. So, I asked them to avoid talking to me about it.”

Yasir Shah had a good chance to stake claim for a spot in the absence of Shadab, but after a disappointing performance in the second ODI, he was dropped for the third game.

Without their full-strength bowling attack in play, Pakistan lost both their matches despite scoring over 350 runs in each game. “Nowadays you have to take wickets because cricket became very fast and even 350 isn’t a par score,” he said.

“Yes, we have been struggling with the ball in middle over but the way batting is performing it’s a good sign. No doubt we lost the games, but we put a good fight and played competitive cricket which gives a lot of boost to the team. Pakistan anyway still hold an ability to win the following games.

“Our team has 100 percent skills to do well in the World Cup. They are struggling (but) so are other teams in many ways. They are playing good cricket overall. Bowlers are not doing well, they are actually not in the rhythm required but once they start clicking we will start winning the games. When you missing out your four key players, it becomes increasingly tough. But there is a difference between pressure for a (normal bilateral) series and a World Cup. So I am optimistic about our chances there and we will try to win the World Cup.”