Rauf Injury Could Be a Blessing in Disguise

Haris Rauf: Injury Lay-Off Could Be a 'Blessing in Disguise'

Haris Rauf, Pakistan’s paceman, thinks the three months he spent on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder might be a “blessing in disguise” as he prepares for the Twenty20 World Cup.

On Saturday, the 30-year-old fast bowler made an encouraging comeback to competitive cricket by collecting 2-34 in Pakistan’s second warm-up match against T20 world champions England in Birmingham.

“I’ve been injured for a few months, but if you believe in yourself, the layoff can be a blessing in disguise,” Rauf said during a pre-match news conference in Cardiff on Monday, ahead of the third T20.

“Because you have time to recoup and rethink your strategies. I felt wonderful returning to cricket. When you play for your nation, you feel quite proud.

Rauf’s Performance and Team Confidence

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Haris Rauf’s comeback at Edgbaston was strong, if not remarkable. He was the best of the fast bowlers, taking two wickets for 34 in his allotted time. It includes an ill-advised Powerplay over Rauf’s weakest phase, which cost him 17.

For the remainder of his stint, he maintained constant pace and accuracy, bowling at less than a run per ball and bringing up two wickets. It would not be enough in the end, as Pakistan fell well short. 

“When you lose a game, it hurts, but as a team, we are confident,” Haris stated. “We believe we can outperform any opponent on any day. We’ve done it before, too. When you make a mistake, you learn from it and want to avoid doing it again. We’re hoping to play better in the coming games and make a comeback.

“The camp is easygoing. We are enjoying ourselves. We’re attempting to stick to our game plans and execute them well. The outcomes haven’t always been in our favor lately, but if you stick to your ideas, they will occasionally follow.”

Challenges in Recovery and World Cup Preparations

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Rauf also discussed the psychological and physical challenges of recovering from a long-term injury. Especially for a fast bowler, a topic that Naseem Shah also addressed.  “It’s hard,” he remarked. 

“It’s hard to maintain that pace and precision throughout rehab, and it’s even more difficult when you return. But believing in yourself makes things easier. When I wasn’t on the team during recovery, I had plenty of time to think about my game and improve myself. Thankfully, I’m back now, and the World Cup is approaching.”

Pakistan has made every effort to gather as much match experience as possible in preparation for the World Cup. By the end of this series in 2024, they will have played 17 T20Is in addition to the PSL. It has involved experiments with the top order, bowling combinations, and even a change of captain. 

It has not always gone their way, with the 2-1 victory in Ireland their sole T20I series triumph since the 2022 World Cup. Rauf concedes that winning the next two games would boost Pakistan’s confidence, but he argues that these games mean more than that. 

“Before the World Cup, if you win a series, it gives you confidence, but even if you lose, you understand where you made mistakes, and you learn from them,” he stated. “This is a challenging series, but we will attempt to win it. The focus, of course, is on the World Cup, which we hope to win to make our country proud.”

Also Read: Rabada Suffers Injury Scare South Africa Ahead Of T20 WC 2024

About the Author

Zartash Zulfiqar is a passionate cricket writer whose love for cricket shines through in every word. From match analyses to player profiles, she delivers insightful commentary that resonates with fans worldwide. Stay tuned for the latest from the world of cricket, brought to you by Zartash.

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