Pakistan’s seam bowlers have been the standout performers in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, earning widespread praise for their exceptional performances. Led by captain Babar Azam, Pakistan’s bowling attack has consistently dismantled their opponents in all three matches of the tournament. The trio of Haris Rauf (9 wickets), Naseem Shah (7 wickets), and Shaheen Afridi (7 wickets) currently occupy the top three positions in the list of leading wicket-takers for the competition.
Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has been thoroughly impressed by the remarkable trio of pace bowlers and has expressed his delight at Pakistan’s ability to produce top-quality fast bowlers consistently. Akhtar even went on to label Shaheen Afridi as one of the best fast bowlers in the world at present.
“I am very happy that Pakistan continues to produce such exceptional fast bowlers. I don’t know the reason behind it. In the past, we had many fast bowlers from Punjab. Now, we have one from Rawalpindi and two Pathans,” commented Akhtar during a virtual press conference organized by Star Sports.
He further added, “The Pathan bowlers are known for their rugged and tough approach. Right now, I would say that one of the best fast bowlers in the world is Shaheen Shah Afridi. He is at the peak of his career, and Haris Rauf also has the same mindset to take wickets.”
Shoaib Akhtar went a step further by labeling Pakistan as the hot favorite for both the Asia Cup and the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023, set to commence in India on October 05.
“Pakistan will enter India as the favorites. I’m being very honest about this. In the Asia Cup as well, I believe they are one of the favorites. Beating India in India is already a formidable challenge, but defeating Pakistan in the subcontinent will be an even tougher task,” Shoaib Akhtar confidently stated.
The much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup is scheduled for Sunday, September 10, at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium. Given the forecast of rain during the match, a reserve day has been allocated for this high-stakes encounter.