This injury led to Zaman Khan being called up as his replacement after Naseem missed the important match against Sri Lanka, resulting in Pakistan’s exit from the Asia Cup.
In a press conference following the match, Babar mentioned that Haris Rauf’s injury is not as serious as Naseem’s, and there is optimism that he will recuperate in time for the World Cup.
“Not telling you our Plan B now. But yes, Haris Rauf is not bad. He’s just got a little bit of a side strain, but he’s recovering before the World Cup.”
“Naseem Shah also… they have a couple of miss matches, I don’t know [how long] the recovery [is], but in my opinion, Naseem Shah also [will be] in the World Cup later on. But let’s see.”
Rauf, who was named the Player of the Match in the Asia Cup 2023 game against Bangladesh for taking four wickets, experienced “discomfort in his right side” during the India match. Consequently, the right-arm fast bowler did not bowl during the reserve day against the Indian team.
“Sri Lanka played very well, better cricket than us” – Babar Azam
In the post-match presentation, Babar explained that the match was lost due to subpar fielding and bowling performances in the middle overs. He said:
“We just decided to bowl our best overs and asked Shaheen to bowl the second last over and believed in Zaman. Sri Lanka played very well, better cricket than us. We have not been up to the mark in the bowling and fielding.”
“That is why we lost the match. In the middle overs, we did not bowl well. That partnership cost us. We started well, ended well, but middle overs were not great. We have lacked that.”
The Asia Cup 2023 final will feature a clash between India and Sri Lanka this Sunday in Colombo.