Table of Contents
- Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s rising fast-bowling star, promises more spectacular performances after his impressive spell against India in the Asia Cup.
- He leads a formidable pace attack alongside Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, collectively taking 23 wickets in the tournament, with effective communication being a key to their success.
- Shaheen’s comeback from a knee injury, guidance from father-in-law Shahid Afridi, and his focus on staying relaxed off the field all contribute to his promising future in cricket.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s pace sensation, has issued a resounding warning following his spectacular performance against arch-rivals India during the Asia Cup. With the Cricket World Cup looming just weeks away, the left-arm fast bowler’s menacing spell that dismantled India’s top-order, including star batsmen Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, was a mere glimpse of his potential.
While their previous encounter was washed out, the cricketing world eagerly anticipates their rematch in Colombo this Sunday during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup, which serves as a precursor to the forthcoming 50-over World Cup.
In an interview with AFP, the 23-year-old Shaheen emphasized that there’s much more to come from him: “Every match against India is special, and people watch this a lot. I used to wait for this match as a fan before I played under-16 cricket. I can’t say this has been my best spell so far. This is just the start, and there will be many more, so the best is yet to come.”
Shaheen, who possesses the remarkable ability to swing the ball both ways, leads one of the world’s most formidable pace attacks. He explained, “If you play all three formats at such a young age for Pakistan and handle the new ball, people expect you to perform like that.”
In tandem with fellow fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, Shaheen has collectively scalped 23 wickets in the Asia Cup. He stressed the importance of their roles: “Haris is quicker than us and impacts with his pace. Naseem and I try to get early breakthroughs.” Effective communication, he added, is a key ingredient in their success.
Despite a serious knee injury last year, the 6’6″ tall Shaheen made a strong comeback in Sri Lanka in July, and he credited match time for his improvement. Looking ahead to the World Cup match against India on October 14 in Ahmedabad, he expressed confidence that the conditions in Pakistan and Dubai would be similar to what foreign players have encountered in the Indian Premier League, with spinners potentially enjoying more assistance.
Shaheen also revealed his habit of seeking advice from his father-in-law, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, before big matches. Afridi’s simple message to him is, “Just play your cricket.”
Away from the cricketing spotlight, Shaheen maintains his focus by staying indoors, sipping green tea, and avoiding discussions about cricket. This deliberate detachment from the game keeps him relaxed and ready to deliver more memorable performances on the field.
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