Aakash Chopra, Inzamam-Ul-Haq opens up on Shaheen Afridi missing Asia Cup
By SMCS - Aug 22, 2022 1:19 pm
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that Shaheen Afridi’s absence from the Asia Cup 2022 is a huge blow to Pakistan in the mega event. The Asia Cup will take place in the UAE from August 27 to September 11 and he is not part of the squad due to a knee injury.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “I think it’s a huge blow to Pakistan’s chances. I said the same thing about Bumrah as well. Jasprit Bumrah is not there, Harshal Patel is also not there, apart from him. So it was a twin blow for us.”

While saying that Team India will also be dealt a blow due to Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel’s absence as well, Chopra believes that their neighbour’s bowling has also been considerably weakened now as well.

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He stated: “When I see Arshdeep, Avesh Khan and Bhuvneshwar – the bowling attack looks a little weak. It is a fact, I am not hiding from it. But Pakistan also cannot hide from the fact. It is not that they do not have the bowling. They have a lot of options. Shadab Khan is batting well, but he is not getting those many wickets as a bowler.”

Meanwhile, Shadab Khan claimed just one wicket in the two ODIs he has played in the recently concluded series against the Netherlands. The leg-spinner, who has not played a T20I this year, has picked up 73 wickets in the 64 T20 games he has played for Pakistan as well.

Shaheen Afridi

Chopra highlighted: “Shahnawaz Dahani can be very expensive but has the ability to pick up wickets. Naseem Shah made his ODI debut just now and gave a ‘Man of the Match’ performance. He has the pace but is expensive at times. We have seen in the PSL that he (Shah) took four or five wickets in one game, but after that, he got hit in the next few matches. He is mercurial in nature, but accuracy is a problem. Haris Rauf is very good, no doubt, but he is not Shaheen Shah Afridi.”

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On the other hand, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam-Ul-Haq has referred to pacer Shaheen Afridi’s absence as a big setback for Pakistan before the upcoming Asia Cup 2022. He recalled how Afridi created trouble for the Indian batting lineup in their last encounter at the T20 World Cup.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said: “It’s a massive setback for Pakistan that Shaheen Afridi is out of the Asia Cup. If you look at the last match against India, he created pressure right from the very first over in the previous edition of the T20 World Cup. It’s a tough decision for Pakistan as Shaheen has been ruled out of the tournament, but injuries are part of the game. It will be a thrilling match since India versus Pakistan matches are always entertaining. We can witness exciting cricket action since both teams are good in T20Is.”