Sunday, August 27, 2023

'Rohit Sharma preparing to face Shaheen Shah Afridi in Asia Cup'

World will be witnessing one of most anticipated cricket matches, Pakistan-India clash in 16th edition of Asia Cup next month

Pakistani bowlers, especially the seamers, are considered some of the best bowlers in the world, and for all the right reasons.

The lethal bowling spells from Pakistan have always made headlines and are often dreaded by teams across the globe.

In less than a week, the world will be witnessing one of the most anticipated cricket matches, the Pakistan-India clash in the 16th edition of Asia Cup, which is slated to take place on September 2 in Sri Lanka.

India's vulnerability to left-arm seamers is not hidden as they were destroyed by Pakistan's Mohammad Amir in the 2017 Champions Trophy, by Trent Boult in 2019 World Cup semifinal and by new-ball sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups.

Moreover, India itself admits the Pakistan threat as former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir once dubbed the side as "dangerous".

So, all eyes will be on the battle between India's top-order and Shaheen.

It seems like Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is preparing to face the tall left-armer as he batted alongside KL Rahul with Aniket Choudhary — who has a similar physique as the Pakistani star — bowling at the training camp in Alur, The Hindustan Times reported.

As per the publication, 33-year-old Choudhary has never played for India and may not have the same skill of getting that late movement as Shaheen, but as a practice bowler still could give India a sense of facing the Pakistani-.

It may be noted that Shaheen is one of the two bowlers Sharma recently said he doesn't want to face 

“None, both are quality, quite threatening with the new ball, can swing the ball, quite fast. So I would say none," the hitman had in a past interaction when asked if he would like to face Australia’s Starc or Pakistan’s Shaheen. 

Rohit and Shaheen have faced each other only thrice in international cricket. Their only meeting in an ODI was back in 2018 Asia Cup, when Rohit had managed 19 off 18 against the southpaw.

However, when Shaheen returned as a well-groomed bowler in the 2021 T20 World Cup, he dismissed the Indian captain for a golden duck.

Later, in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Rohit could score only four off five before being dismissed by Haris Rauf, who is also a pacer.