Former Pakistan PM subtly criticizes Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli while praising Shaheen Afridi; tweet viral
A match between India and Pakistan is more than just a cricket match. The hostility between players and fans, between previous players and even politicians, is evident on the pitch and cannot be denied, no matter how hard cricketers from either side try to downplay it.
This historic rivalry between these two dominant cricket teams was most recently enacted on Saturday at the Pallekele International Stadium during the Asia Cup 2023 Group A match.
Rain eventually ruined the game, but it wasn't enough to overshadow the outstanding efforts of Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf. Shaheen even attracted the attention of former Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with her amazing performance with the new ball.
It was not Shaheen's best start. He bowled a little too full in an attempt to remove India's openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, as soon as possible. Sometimes he would wander onto Rohit's pads, which led to boundaries.
In the fifth over, rain saved the day for the gifted left-arm pacer, just when it looked like he might not have a good day. The fifteen to twenty minutes of waiting gave Shaheen time to reconsider his plan.
Play restarted, and Shaheen looked like a completely different bowler. He had a big effect on the game in just three balls when he removed India's captain, Rohit, with a delivery that was nearly unplayable.
He was also responsible for Virat Kohli's wicket in his subsequent over. His length was adjusted, and it was the key to his success, even though the delivery wasn't as spectacular as the one that dismissed Rohit.
Shaheen did a great job of manipulating his length by pulling it back a little bit. But after the rain break, he made one more adjustment. He made the decision to hit the pitch harder rather than just swinging the ball.
This alteration directly led to the ball that removed Kohli from the game. The ball didn't get to Kohli as quickly as anticipated because of the erratic Pallekele surface, so the former Indian skipper had to draw it back onto his stumps. Shaheen was the first bowler to dismiss both Rohit and Kohli in the same One Day International (ODI) match, finishing with remarkable statistics of 4/35.
The enchantment cast by Shaheen left Shehbaz Sharif deeply impressed. On X, the former Twitter, he showed his admiration and used the occasion to compliment the left-arm pacer's extraordinary abilities. But in doing so, he unintentionally disparaged the two Indian icons, Rohit and Kohli.
The post went viral fast and received a wide range of reactions from cricket enthusiasts throughout the globe. "They cannot play him" became a popular hashtag.
After Shaheen and Haris Rauf's early attack, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya returned to the game and shown extraordinary talent and tenacity, saving India from certain defeat. Rain eventually ruined the match, though, and India and Pakistan shared the points in what looked to be an exciting finale on Saturday.
Due to the sad result of the game, Pakistan finished their Group A campaign with three points, guaranteeing them a spot in the tournament's Super Four.
Conversely, India, who received a point from their previous game, is anticipated to triumph against Nepal on Monday, guaranteeing their advancement to the Super Four round.