BIRMINGHAM: For an 18-year-old it is tough to handle the limelight. More so when it’s an India-Pakistan match as Shadab Khan is oblivious of the atmosphere and what are the pressures of a game with India.
It could be a blessing in disguise for Shadab if he gets a chance on Sunday because it will be his first chance to experience an Indo-Pak match.
“It’s true I have not played against India but I have watched several India-Pakistan matches on television and know that it’s a pressure game,” said Shadab who rose from the Pakistan Super League’s second edition to the national ranks.
He did impress with a four-wicket haul in his first Twenty20 against the West Indies but his lack of performances in the ODIs and Test proved he needs some time to come good in the longer versions of the game.
For his age Shadab also doesn’t know about the favourite’s tag that India will carry in Edgbaston on Sunday. The defending champions have more or less the same players with whom they won the title in 2013 — also in England.
“If people believe India is favourite then we too had a good series in the West Indies and our morale is high,” said Shadab.
What if he gets a chance?
“I will do my best because I know that if you perform against India you get more fame and recognition,” said Shadab.
Pakistan open their Pool B campaign with a high-voltage game against arch-rivals India in Birmingham on June 4. They also play South Africa (in Birmingham on June 7) and Sri Lanka (in Cardiff on June 12). Hosts England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand form Pool A. The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semi-finals.
They are looking to halt a slump that began with a first-round exit from the 2015 World Cup, prompting all-rounder Shahid Afridi and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to exit the one-day scene.