Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis has raised concerns over the performance of Shaheen Afridi in the initial two fixtures of the ongoing ICC Cricket ODI World Cup 2023 in India. Despite Pakistan’s successful start with two victories in the tournament, the form of their lead pacer, Shaheen, has raised some worrisome questions. Across these two matches, the 23-year-old has managed to secure just two wickets with a dismal average of 51.50.
Challenging day against Sri Lanka
In Pakistan’s recent thrilling chase against Sri Lanka, where they successfully pursued 344 runs, making it the highest World Cup chase in the competition’s history, Shaheen endured a challenging day. He conceded 66 runs in nine overs while securing only a single wicket, highlighting his struggle in the tournament.
Waqar Younis shows concerns over Shaheen Shah Afridi’s poor outing
Waqar emphasized the critical need for the Pakistan team to identify and address the issues that might be affecting Shaheen’s performance. He highlights that Pakistan’s success in the quadrennial event greatly relies on the Landi Kotal-born cricketer’s ability to consistently claim early wickets.
“Pakistan’s success has come when Shaheen really picks up early wickets and over the years, he’s done it many times and, uh, and he’s got capacity, capability, but at the moment he’s trying too hard. He’s just falling all over the place, you know, bowling on the pads, outside the off stump he’s tried around the wicket over the wicket, nothing really worked for him, and I’m sure he will even sit back with Morne Morkel,” Waqar said to Star Sports.
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Injury speculation and the India clash
Waqar further speculated that Shaheen might be dealing with an injury concern, which could explain his subpar performance in the first two CWC 2023 games for Pakistan.
With the highly-anticipated showdown against India approaching, Waqar urged that Pakistan will need Shaheen at his best, especially considering his strong track record against India in significant matches.
“They’ll probably work out what is going wrong. I think there might be, uh, some action problem. What if he’s carrying any niggle or anything? If he can fix this issue and with that left arm ball coming in, you know, early doors,” the 51-year-old added.
“You know, against India, we’ll be needing his services at the most because he has done it, uh, against India a few matches previously. So, he’s an important member of the team, and I’m gonna just chip in for Shadab as well, not really finding the rhythm, not really finding the area where he needs to bowl. So, he’s also gonna sit down and chat about it,” the Vehari-born cricketer concluded.
Pakistan will face Rohit Sharma-led Team India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14.
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Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis has raised concerns over the performance of Shaheen Afridi in the initial two fixtures of the ongoing ICC Cricket ODI World Cup 2023 in India. Despite Pakistan’s successful start with two victories in the tournament, the form of their lead pacer, Shaheen, has raised some worrisome questions. Across these…