"Can remember the World Cup match..." - Harbhajan Singh opens up on Shahid Afridi leaving India terrified

Published - 14 Jun 2024, 03:51 PM

Harbhajan Singh and Shahid Afridi
Harbhajan Singh and Shahid Afridi {PC:X}

Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh opened up about his playing days with Shahid Afridi. He recalled how the former Pakistan skipper gave fear to the opposition and they used to discuss extra plans for the ex-all-rounder. 

Shahid Afridi was one of the best all-rounders to have ever played for the Pakistan Cricket Team. It's fair to say that he was the real intent merchant as he only believed in hitting the ball out of the park no matter how difficult the situation would be. 

Shahid Afridi is regarded as great in Pakistan Cricket and is also on the list of leading six-hitters in the world, which speaks a lot about his caliber as a batter. He was a threatening force for opposition as he only knew one way of batting and that was to see and hit the ball. 

Shahid Afridi bailed his team out of trouble many times during his playing days with his counter-attacking ability. There were even times when he completely changed the course of the game and took his team to victory from the losing positions in many crucial games. 

Harbhajan Singh while talking about Shahid Afridi claimed that the Indian team always discussed about him in team meetings. He talked about the all-rounder's ability to change the game and claimed that there was always fear in opposition. Speaking to Star Sports, he explained: 

"Doesn't matter how much time he spent on the wicket, but he added the duration of our team meeting. I can remember the World Cup match of 2007. If Shahid Afridi is still to bat, there would be fear in the opposition. He can change the course of the match if he plays 10-15 balls. He could take the game deep." 

As soon as he got out, half the job was done for India - Harbhajan Singh in Shahid Afridi's dismissal during the 2007 T20 World Cup final 

Harbhajan Singh further talked about the 2007 T20 World Cup final and recalled the verbal spat between Irfan Pathan and Shahid Afridi which resulted in the wicket of the batter. He claimed that when the all-rounder got out, they knew that half of their job was done. He added: 

"Irfan Pathan and Shahid Afridi exchanged a few words. The first ball that Afridi faced, Irfan bowled a bouncer and said something. The very next ball, Afridi tried to play a big shot and lost his wicket. As soon as he got out, half the job was done for India." 

Harbhajan Singh also talked about how he dismissed Shahid Afridi during the 2011 World Cup between India and Pakistan. He added that when the all-rounder got out, they knew that they couldn't lose the game. He added: 

"In the 2011 World Cup, the first ball I bowled to him was a yorker. He left the next delivery, and I knew that he was ready to play a big shot on the third ball. He got out while trying to do that, and we knew that we could not lose the game from there. He was one such player who could win his team a match from any given point," 

Shahid Afridi finished his career with 11,196 runs and 541 wickets to his name across formats in international cricket.


Harbhajan Singh Shahid Afridi ICC T20 World Cup Pakistan national cricket team India National Cricket Team