Shastri and Gavaskar Criticize Shaheen Afridi: 'He's No Wasim Akram, Nothing Special' After India WC Victory


Shastri and Gavaskar Criticize Shaheen Afridi: ‘He’s No Wasim Akram, Nothing Special’ After India WC Victory

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Shaheen Afridi’s lackluster performance continued in the 2023 World Cup, as Pakistan suffered a heavy seven-wicket defeat to India in Ahmedabad. The much-anticipated showdown between Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi and the formidable Indian top order was a focal point of the blockbuster match at the Narendra Modi Stadium. With Pakistan setting a meager target of 192, the onus was on Shaheen to disrupt the Indian batting lineup, a task he has excelled at in the past.

Despite being a tall left-arm seamer with the ability to generate late movement and trouble right-handed batsmen, Shaheen’s recent form woes persisted as India cruised to a commanding seven-wicket victory. In the opening two games against Netherlands and Sri Lanka, he managed just two wickets while conceding 103 runs. His form was a major concern heading into the high-stakes India clash.

Veteran cricketers, including Shahid Afridi, had expressed their support for Shaheen and attempted to help him rectify his errors. However, on the day of the crucial match, Shaheen struggled right from the first ball as Rohit Sharma took on the challenge.

As Pakistan sought a miraculous comeback amidst Rohit’s dominance, former India head coach Ravi Shastri delivered a scathing assessment of Shaheen. Shastri dismissed the notion that Shaheen could be compared to the legendary Wasim Akram, asserting that he is merely a good bowler with the new ball and nothing extraordinary. He emphasized the importance of accepting the truth regarding Shaheen’s abilities.

Sunil Gavaskar echoed Shastri’s criticism, expressing disappointment in Shaheen’s failure to replicate Jasprit Bumrah’s success with slower off-cutters. Gavaskar pointed out that Bumrah’s approach led to crucial wickets and suggested that Shaheen should have adopted a similar strategy with the new ball.

The performance left Pakistan in a difficult position, as Rizwan’s wicket was critical, and his departure hindered Pakistan’s chances of posting a competitive total. Gavaskar emphasized that the Pakistan bowlers should have utilized the cutter technique earlier in the game.

In the end, the Indian team emerged victorious, securing a seven-wicket win and maintaining their dominance in World Cup encounters against Pakistan.


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