Sunil Gavaskar reprimands Babar Azam with 'India will be saying big thank you' statement against Pakistan skipper
How can India eliminate the threat posed by Shaheen Shah Afridi in the Indo-Pak conflicts? Afridi was the single name that mattered most in a match that included some of the biggest names in international cricket.
The Green Army's speed leader won two highly coveted scalps in the rain-shortened match between the long-standing foes on Saturday at the Asia Cup 2023.
First, pacer Afridi conned Indian captain Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli, who had just used his trademark cover drive to showcase his form in the previous over, was then outwitted by him. At the crowded Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka, the top pacer of the two-time Asia Cup winners had hushed the Indian fans.
"Bowling modifications were illogical."
Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar is still not persuaded that Babar Azam's Pakistan team played their cards well against rivals India at the continental event, despite the fact that Afridi ruled the Indian top order with his bowling masterclass.
Speaking about the highly anticipated India-Pakistan match, batting great Gavaskar stated that he didn't understand Babar's bowling alterations.
"I don't think the bowling changes made sense because you want to keep at least one bowler going from one end if you have three bowlers and the pace bowlers have taken the early wickets."
"I understand that extended periods of time are unfeasible, but it is possible for one individual to bowl from one end while Shadab or Nawaz bowls from the other end," Gavaskar stated to India Today.
"India will express its sincere gratitude because…"
Observing that Rohit and Co. were able to mount a comeback following a top-order collapse, Gavaskar suggested that Babar had obviously missed a trick in India's Asia Cup first match.
Stars of the middle order, Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan, hammered half-centuries to give India a respectable total. A fifth-wicket stand of 138 runs off 141 balls was shared by Pandya and Kishan.
Legendary batsman Vijay Gavaskar stated that if Pakistani pacers had taken out Pandya or Kishan sooner in the innings, India would not have been able to reach 200 runs.
By the time Afridi came back to dismiss Pandya for 87 off 90 balls, the team led by Kishan had amassed 239 runs in 43 overs.
"It's the reason the partnership worked so well; if one of the pacers had taken that one wicket between Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya, then maybe India would have struggled to reach even 175, 200," said Gavaskar. "I mean, India will be saying a big thank you."