MELBOURNE: No matter what happens when Pakistan face England in Sunday’s final at the MCG, Shadab Khan has had a Twenty20 World Cup to remember.
Starring with both bat and ball, the 24-year-old all-rounder helped energise Pakistan’s flagging campaign when all seemed lost.
After last-ball defeats to India and Zimbabwe, Shadab pulled them back from the brink with three wickets against the Netherlands for their first win.
He then turned up with a fiery 22-ball 52 and bowling figures of 2-16 during his man-of-the-match performance against South Africa.
The Proteas’ subsequent shock defeat to the Netherlands helped Pakistan gatecrash the semi-finals.
Shadab has been shortlisted for player of the tournament and could well win it if Pakistan do business against England in the decider at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
When team-mates and coaches talk about Shadab they all refer to one thing.
“He brings invaluable energy to the team,” captain Babar Azam said.
Shadab’s commitment and relentless energy, whether it be in training or matches, galvanised Pakistan’s drooping World Cup.