IND vs PAK | ‘Every Opener Knows…’: Shaheen Afridi Reveals His Game Plan Against India

IND vs PAK: Ahead of high-voltage India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match, Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Afridi opened up on his plans to tackle star India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. It is well known how vulnerable India, especially top order batters, are against left-arm pacers. Indian batters have never before faced the fiery pace-bowling trio of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah in an ODI match before. Last year during the T20 World Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Shaheen rattled India’s top-order by dismissing Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli during their opening game against the Men in Blue.

In today’s IND vs PAK Asia Cup 2023 match, Rohit and Shubman Gill will open the innings as KL Rahul is yet to recover fully from his injury.

Shaheen said he plans to get early wickets by dismissing the openers with the new ball to put pressure on India’s middle-order.

“In my opinion, my game plan is simple, every opener knows my game plan. The goal is to, as always, get the openers out to put pressure on the batting team. The middle order when they come in are not used to playing against the new ball as much as an opener. So there is a lot of pressure on the middle order to face the new ball,” Shaheen said during an interaction on Star Sports.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar suggested that if India’s top-order batters gets a fine start and don’t lose wickets, it will be their match to win.

“See, fortunately for India, number one, two, and three, when Virat bats at number three, they are three very good test batters. And you might talk about 50 overs being a one-day match and white-ball cricket and all that, but the start of a 50 overs game is not like a T20 match. I think there are some serious test cricket skills needed, and then Rohit Sharma got these five hundreds in the last World Cup. I remember him respecting the bowling in the first 10 overs. And these three guys – Gill, Rohit Sharma, and Virat – who have excellent credentials as defensive test batters, that is the game they will have to bring. If they do not lose early wickets, then it is just their game,” Manjrekar said on Star Sports.

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