Former Pakistani pacer says Men in Green rely on Shaheen Afridi more than India does on Jasprit Bumrah


Shaheen Afridi Jaspir Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah and Shaheen Shah Afridi both will miss Asia Cup T20 tournament. Picture Credit: Twitter/@TheRealPCB and @Jaspritbumrah93

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 2022 edition of the Asia Cup T20 tournament will take place in the UAE from August 27.
  • India will face Pakistan in a marquee clash on August 28 in Dubai.
  • Both Shaheen Shah Afridi and Jasprit Bumrah are out due to injuries.
Two of the world’s leading fast bowlers—Jasprit Bumrah and Shaheen Shah Afridi—will not be seen in action in the upcoming Asia Cup T20 tournament. The star duo is out because of injury-related issues. While India’s pace spearhead Bumrah is suffering from a back injury, Pakistan’s Afridi injured his knee last month against Sri Lanka and because of that he is out of action. It will require four to six weeks for him to attain full fitness, and as for Bumrah, there’s no clarity as to when one can expect to see him back in action. He has moved to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore to start his recovery, but whether he will get fit in time to play for India in the T20 World Cup remains to be seen.

In the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup, India will start the campaign against Pakistan on Sunday (August 28). It will be the first meeting of both these teams since last year’s T20 World Cup match. In that game, Afridi was on fire against India and his opening spell, in which he got rid of both the Indian openers – Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul – set the tone for the Men in Green. And rightly so, the team will miss his presence when he is not in action this time.

According to former Pakistani pacer Aaqib Javed, even though Bumrah is unavailable for India, Pakistan will miss Shaheen more than India will miss Bumrah because the Men in Green rely on the fast bowler far more than India does on Bumrah.

“With Bumrah not there, the Indian bowling attack has become weak. There is no Shami either. But the role Shaheen has in Pakistan’s bowling attack shows that the team depends on him more than India depends on Bumrah,” he told Paktv.tv.

Echoing similar sentiments of his former teammate Waqar Younis, Javed also said that Shaheen’s injury will come as a huge relief to the Indian team. He said that India has a strong batting line-up, so to put them under pressure, taking early wickets with the new ball is always going to be the key, and that is what Shaheen had shown in the 2021 T20 World Cup match.

“It is a huge setback for Pakistan. Because of the way he bowls, even in T20 cricket, batters are left in a dilemma as to whether they should save themselves from a LBW or risk being bowled out. So, there is a huge pressure on batters when Shaheen bowls. You need to do well with the new ball, especially against India, given how their middle-order batting line-up is. It will be difficult for Pakistan. The last two times Pakistan beat India—in the Champions Trophy (2017 final) and the last World Cup (2021 T20 WC), the pattern was similar—a left-arm pacer puts on the early pressure. So, India will be very relieved. Nobody wants to face Shaheen with the new ball,” he added.

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