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Shaheen Afridi fires warning to India ahead of Asia Cup clash

Shaheen Afridi fires warning to India ahead of Asia Cup clash

Shaheen Afridi fires warning to India ahead of Asia Cup clash

Shaheen Afridi fires warning to India ahead of Asia Cup clash

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  • He is a 23-year-old left-arm fast bowler who is considered one of the best in the world.
  • He has been in great form recently, taking 4 wickets against India in the Asia Cup.
  • He is confident that he can continue to perform at a high level in the upcoming World Cup.
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Pakistan’s pace sensation, Shaheen Shah Afridi, has issued a warning that his remarkable performance against arch-rivals India during the Asia Cup is just the beginning, with the highly anticipated World Cup just around the corner.

In a thrilling Group A encounter last week, the left-arm fast bowler created havoc in the Indian top-order, bagging four crucial wickets, including those of star batsmen Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Although the match was ultimately washed out, cricket fans can look forward to another showdown between the two teams in Colombo on Sunday during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup. This encounter serves as a precursor to the upcoming 50-over World Cup, set to commence next month.

The 23-year-old Shaheen expressed his confidence in delivering more exceptional performances in the future. “Every match against India is special, and people watch this a lot,” he remarked. “I used to wait for this match as a fan before I played under-16 cricket.”

He went on to emphasize that his recent spell against India was just the start of something greater: “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.”

Known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, Shaheen leads one of the most formidable pace attacks in the world. “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,” he acknowledged.

Shaheen, alongside fellow fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, has collectively accounted for an impressive 23 wickets in the Asia Cup thus far. He highlighted their well-defined roles, saying, “We know our roles with the new and old ball. Haris is quicker than us and impacts with his pace. Naseem and I try to get early breakthroughs.” He attributed their success to strong communication within the pace trio.

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Despite standing tall at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 meters), Shaheen had to overcome a serious knee injury last year but made a triumphant return to the cricket scene in Sri Lanka in July. Reflecting on his recovery, he stated, “It’s your match time that helps you improve. These Test matches against Sri Lanka recently made me improve as I bowled long spells and fielded all day.” With 105 wickets in 27 Tests, Shaheen appears to be in peak form.

One notable absence from Shaheen’s cricket journey is playing in India, as bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan remain suspended due to political tensions. Nevertheless, Shaheen is eager to make his mark when Pakistan faces hosts India in the highly anticipated World Cup match in Ahmedabad on October 14. Drawing insights from foreign players who have participated in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he anticipates that Pakistani wickets and Dubai pitches will offer similar conditions. He believes that spinners might find more assistance but assures that the Pakistani team is well-prepared.

Shaheen also revealed that he seeks guidance from former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who happens to be his father-in-law, before significant matches. “I try to pick his brains before a big game and include it in my plans as he was a big-match player,” Shaheen noted. He values Afridi’s straightforward advice, which is to “just play your cricket.”

A fan of the legendary Pakistani left-arm fast bowler Wasim Akram, Shaheen maintains his focus on the field by avoiding cricket-related distractions off it. “I don’t go out much and stay in my room. Just stay indoors, make green tea… and talk about anything other than cricket,” he revealed, emphasizing the importance of relaxation in maintaining peak performance.

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