After putting in a match-winning performance with both bat and ball, Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan said captain Babar Azam’s ‘buddha’ comment had given him a lot of motivation in striving to achieve optimum fitness levels.
Shadab was declared Player of the Match for his brilliant show that led Pakistan to a 53-run win over West Indies in the third one-day international and a 3-0 series sweep. The leg-spinner who is also a more than handy batter down the order said captain Babar had compared him with an aged person because of the difficulties he used to have while fielding after his injury.
“I got a lot of motivation after Babar called me a ‘buddha’ [old man]. After getting injured, it’s difficult to field properly, so that’s why he called me a buddha,” Shadab said.
Shadab’s career-best 86 off 78 balls revived Pakistan to 269-9 after the hosts chose to bat first and their top order stumbled against the surprise off-spin of Nicholas Pooran, who finished with 4-48 in 10 overs on Sunday.
Shadab said he has been working hard on his fitness levels after coping with criticism for the same in the past.
“I have been working hard at the National High-Performance Center to bowl more overs because it was initially difficult to bowl after getting injured. Hopefully, I will keep working hard and try to improve,” he said.
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran then enjoyed the quick wickets of Imam, Mohammad Haris (0) and Mohammad Rizwan (11) before Shadab revived the innings with a gritty 84-run stand with Khushdil Shah, who made 34.
Shadab looked set for his first ODI hundred before he was clean bowled by Jayden Seales off a perfect yorker in the last over.
“It was a pressure situation, and I and Khushdil Shah planned to take it easy till the second powerplay, and we would take our chances after the 38th over in two-over power play,” Shadab said when asked about his mindset after coming in to bat.