Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels India’s biggest challenge in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash against Pakistan will be how to counter-attack the Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf’s pace attack. However, both sides will lock horns at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. While Pakistan head into the clash after a comfortable seven-wicket win against Bangladesh at home in their opening Super Four game, India will be playing their first match of the second phase of the tournament as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “The Premadasa Stadium generally has a decent pitch. You will get a slightly sticky pitch everywhere here, you don’t get very flat pitches, unlike the ones you get at times in India, and Lahore, Multan and Karachi. There is something in it for the bowlers which makes it very interesting because the Indian team’s biggest challenge will be – how will they overcome the threat of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf? This question is looming large once again.”
However, India were reduced to 66/4 in the Group A clash against Pakistan in the campaign opener but later Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya’s century partnership helped India reach a 266-run total before rain played spoilsport and the second innings couldn’t take part. While talking about Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill scored unbeaten half-centuries in India’s last game against Nepal, Aakash Chopra stated that the Pakistan pace trio will pose a different challenge as well.
“Of course, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill scored runs in the last match, and Virat Kohli didn’t get to bat, but when you will once again have Shaheen Shah Afridi, who dismissed Litton Das with a steeply climbing ball on a road-like pitch in Lahore, or Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf in front of you, it is a genuine threat,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “There will be pressure on you for sure because of that. If India win the first 10 overs, if you lose just one wicket or don’t lose a wicket till the 13th over or so, then India will be in the ascendancy.”