Shaheen Afridi vs India highly anticipated match in the Asia Cup 2023 was full of surprises as India’s top order was put to the test by the Pakistani bowlers. India chose to bat first after winning the toss in Kandy, but their route to 266 runs in 66 overs was anything from easy.
Top Order Woes and Shaheen Afridi vs India Brilliance
When play was halted by rain, India had amassed 15 runs in 26 balls without losing a wicket and appeared to be playing steadily. Shaheen Shah Afridi unleashed a ferocious assault on India’s top order at that point since the rain had raised questions about the ball’s mobility.
In the sixth over, Shaheen Afridi vs India’s struck Rohit Sharma’s off stump with a length ball that drifted inward. The 11 runs that Rohit scored off of 22 balls, included two boundaries. Virat Kohli provided a ray of hope shortly after with a stunning four through cover, but he was bowled out by Shaheen Afridi vs India third short delivery in the seventh over. Virat was out for just 4 runs off of 7 balls after his inside edge caused the bails to fall out. The seam movement had, it was evident.
Table of Contents
Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill’s Partnership
Shreyas Iyer, who was substituted for Suryakumar Yadav because the top order was in turmoil, momentarily raised expectations with two well-timed fours. But in the 10th over, Haris Rauf took advantage of Iyer’s frailty with a short-pitched delivery, and Fakhar Zaman collected a simple catch at midwicket. India struggled at 48 for 3 after Iyer’s 14 runs off 9 balls.
Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill were then in charge. Even though Gill had trouble finding the boundary, he managed to hold his ground in the thick of the mayhem, giving Indian supporters optimism that he would later unleash his strokes. Sadly, the optimism didn’t last long.
The inside edge of the bat struck the stumps as a consequence of Gill’s defensive push against a blazing delivery from Haris Rauf in the 15th over that he delivered at a blistering 147 km per hour. India was in trouble at 66 for 4 when Gill left the field after scoring a valiant 10 runs off of 32 balls.
Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya’s Heroics
India’s comeback at this point seemed unlikely, but Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya defied the odds with an amazing combination. The greatest partnership by India against Pakistan in ODI history, they put up a historic 138-run stand in 142 balls. Both players destroyed the Pakistani bowlers, with Ishan going on the attack and Hardik initially playing carefully.
With 82 runs off 81 balls, including 9 boundaries and 2 sixes, Ishan Kishan took the lead. But in the 38th over, off the third back-of-length delivery from Haris Rauf, he attempted a quick pull shot that was unsuccessful and was easily caught by Babar Azam at mid-on.
When Hardik failed to maintain a shot on the ground in the same over, Shaheen Afridi vs Indiai took his wicket with a straightforward catch to the covers. After making 87 runs off 90 balls, including 7 fours and 1 six, Hardik Pandya left the game.
Late Struggles and Bumrah’s Brisk Finish
The lower tier also experienced difficulties. After scoring 14 runs in 22 balls, Ravindra Jadeja was caught by wicketkeeper Rizwan on the final delivery of the 44th over. After coming in to replace Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur was caught at point and out for 3 runs on the first pitch of Naseem Shah’s 45th over.
With 16 runs and three fours in 14 balls, Jasprit Bumrah scored significant runs near the finish to push India’s total above 260.
Bowlers’ Performance and Rain-Interrupted Match
Pakistan’s star bowler, Shaheen Afridi vs India, finished with 4 wickets for 35 runs and 2 maidens in his 10 overs. He took two wickets during the powerplay and two more during the final two overs. While Haris Rauf took three wickets and gave up 58 runs in nine overs, Naseem Shah gave up 36 runs in 8.5 overs.
Unfortunately, Pakistan’s innings was never able to start owing to weather, and the game was deemed a forfeit.
Questions and Looking Ahead
Concerns are raised over India’s top order’s performance against Pakistan’s bowling lineup before the World Cup. In light of Ishan Kishan’s game-winning performance, it is debatable if KL Rahul should replace him when he rejoins Team India. In addition, the choice to replace Mohammed Shami with Shardul Thakur is being closely examined. Should Shreyas Iyer be replaced by Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma instead?
Q: Will KL Rahul return to the team after the match against Nepal on Monday?
KL Rahul’s return to the team is anticipated, but official confirmation is awaited.
Q: Should Ishan Kishan be dropped from the team after his match-winning performance?
Ishan Kishan’s performance has been exceptional, and the decision to include him or KL Rahul should be based on the team’s strategy and the match conditions.
Q: Is it the right decision to drop Mohammed Shami for Shardul Thakur in the team?
The selection of fast bowlers depends on the conditions and team strategy. Shardul Thakur’s inclusion may provide a different dimension to the team’s bowling attack.
Q: Should Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma be trusted instead of Shreyas Iyer?
Team selection should consider the current form and fitness of players, along with the team’s requirements. Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma could be viable options if they meet the team’s needs.