‘When it comes to Shaheen Afridi, don’t look to survive’

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The T20 World Cup 2022 is just around the corner, and all the participating teams have started gearing up for it. Everyone will be working toward a similar goal, which is to bag the ICC title and lift the prestigious trophy. Speaking of India, the Men in Blue will kick-start their campaign on October 23 when they face arch-rivals Pakistan.

Pakistan has benefited from Shaheen Afridi’s return after an extended absence owing to injury followed by his recovery, while India has been hurt by injuries to key players. The left-arm speedster has typically been quite a challenge for the Indian top order. While his match readiness will be evaluated in the coming days, if he gets match-ready in time for the India game, he might be a formidable opponent.

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir had some advice for the Indian batters and said that they should try and contain Shaheen Afridi. He suggested that the batters should not fear him for his skills, and instead face him with sheer confidence and hit him for the big runs, because that is what will put their strategies in place and help them tackle the pacer.

“When it comes to Shaheen Afridi, don’t look to survive. Look to score runs from him. Because the moment you look to survive, everything becomes really small. Whether it’s your backlift, whether it’s your footwork, and obviously, in T20 cricket you can’t look to survive,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports.

India will be fine because India has got quality top-order: Gambhir

Shaheen Afridi last played against India in the T20 World Cup 2021 fixture, where he wreaked havoc and emerged as a force to reckon with. The Indian openers- Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were left stunned when Afridi dismissed the two early in the powerplay. It took him time to pick up his third wicket of the game, but when he did, he caught the big fish in the form of Virat Kohli.

“I know that he can be dangerous with the new ball, but again, irrespective, the Indian batters need to score more runs, get into better positions, and look to time the balls rather than to hit it. India will be fine because India has got the quality in their top 3 or 4 who can definitely take on Shaheen Shah Afridi,” Gambhir added.

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