Mohammad Kaif Warns India About Naseem Shah For T20 WC Clash
By CricShots - Jun 4, 2024 3:56 pm
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The stage is set for another chapter in the epic India-Pakistan rivalry as they clash in the T20 World Cup on June 9th in New York. Recent history paints a close picture, with each team claiming a win over the other in the last two T20 World Cup encounters. Pakistan crushed India by 10 wickets in the 2021 edition, but India got revenge last year in Australia with a four-wicket victory. Their rivalry extends beyond the T20 format, as India also emerged victorious in their ODI World Cup meeting last year.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma inspecting the pitch

However, former Indian batsman Mohammed Kaif believes the hype surrounding this upcoming match might be a bit overblown. While acknowledging the historical significance of these clashes, Kaif feels Pakistan’s batting lacks depth this time around.

“Everyone knows Pakistan’s batting is weak,” Mohammad Kaif said on Star Sports. “Fakhar Zaman plays a little fast. If he fires, he can probably win the match alone. Iftikhar Ahmad plays fast too, but other than that, everyone plays at a strike rate of 120 to 125. You are not that scared of their batting but are scared of their bowling.”

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Despite downplaying Pakistan’s batting strength, Kaif highlighted the threat posed by their pace attack, particularly young fast bowler Naseem Shah. Shah was a key performer in their previous T20 World Cup encounter, and Kaif believes he could be a major factor again on a “bouncy pitch” in New York.

Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif

“They will have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah,” Mohammad Kaif explained. “Naseem Shah didn’t come to play the World Cup in India. He was injured, but he’s fit here. This will be a bouncy pitch, and Naseem Shah is a very good bowler. If you see his first spell in the Melbourne match that Virat Kohli won, he got a nick and the catch was dropped at slip.”

Mohammad Kaif’s comments suggest India shouldn’t take Pakistan’s bowling attack lightly, especially Naseem Shah’s ability to exploit the expected bouncy conditions in New York. Whether Kaif’s assessment of Pakistan’s batting proves accurate remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the upcoming India-Pakistan clash promises another enthralling chapter in their long-standing cricketing rivalry.

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India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj 

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan