Former Australian wrist-spinner Brad Hogg added that the contest between Pakistan left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi and India’s top three will be interesting to see during the upcoming face-off between the arch-rivals in the Asia Cup and the World Cup. Hogg shared that the matches could be won or lost depending on how things take place during this phase. However, India and Pakistan will meet in the Asia Cup 2023 Group A clash in Pallekele on September 2 as well.
In an interview on Revsportz’s show Backstage with Boria, Hogg said: “I think Shaheen will have a chance with the deliveries that come in against right-handers. If Pakistan can expose Virat Kohli early in the contest against the new ball in front of Shaheen Afridi, the contest between Shaheen and the Indian top three will be decisive. So, for me, that’s going to be where the game will be won and lost between India and Pakistan.”
However, Shaheen Afridi was less effective when India and Pakistan met at the MCG last year in the T20 World Cup where he went wicketless while conceding 34 runs as well. According to Hogg, Pakistan will have a slight edge over India due to the presence of the star left-armer Shaheen. Shaheen Shah Afridi is currently one of the best pace bowlers in world cricket across formats. He has played 27 Tests, 40 ODIs, and 52 T20Is, picking up 105, 76, and 64 wickets, respectively as well.
“Pakistan, with their pace attack, have a slight advantage especially with the left-arm pace of Shaheen Afridi. He is a quality bowler. When you have a left-arm fast bowler who swings the ball with pace and gets them to come in to the right-handers, it does make it difficult,” Brad Hogg further added.
Hogg also applauded Virat Kohli’s performance under pressure. Hogg also urged Indian fans not to think much about Kohli’s form as every sportsperson has his ups and downs as well.
“That innings against Pakistan here at the MCG, hitting Haris Rauf back over his head off a good length – That was the best shot that I have ever seen in cricket. It was brilliant. I just think he has got his hunger back and a little bit of pressure taken off him. I think he’s got unfinished business, and that’s probably the big danger for opposition teams. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar had ups and downs. When he has that right frame of mind and the pressure off his back, we have seen a dominant Virat Kohli,” he concluded.