Wanted To Mix Things Up And Bowl A Slower Bouncer At Virat Kohli- Shaheen Afridi Reveals His Plans In T20 World Cup 2021 Clash Against India

Published - 01 Feb 2022, 11:42 AM | Updated - 01 Feb 2022, 11:54 AM

Aaqib Javid, Shaheen Afridi, Virat Kohli
Shaheen Afridi, Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

Shaheen Afridi jolted the Indian team early in their group stage clash in the 2021 T20 World Cup held in the UAE. He dismissed both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma inside his first two overs, dealing a body blow to India.

Shaheen came back later when Virat Kohli was looking to unleash and nipped out the then Indian captain with a slower bouncer. Speaking on how he managed to affect the dismissals, Shaheen said he tried his best to use variations and get wickets early.

The end I was bowling from, the leg-side boundary was smaller, say about 60-65 meter only. If I had bowled straight and fast at him [Virat Kohli], he would have flicked me or pulled me for runs. So I wanted to mix things up and bowl a slow bouncer at him so that it would have been difficult for him to go leg-side. Luckily for me, the ball gripped and he got out. Aur mera time bhi accha thha. (laughs). I admire Virat Kohli a lot, he’s one of the best around.”

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi (Image: Twitter)

Rohit, Rahul and Kohli are their mainstays and three of the best batsmen in the world. Kohli unki reedh ki haddi hai (Kohli is their spinal cord). And once you get them out, it gets difficult for the middle order. And if one of them bats deep, it gets easier for the batsman coming in later. Since I was getting some swing in that match – and the team anyway wants wickets from me early on – I was trying to pitch it up to Rohit and Rahul and I was able to get both of them out,” Shaheen mentioned to Cricbuzz.

“When I look back on that win, I feel very proud” – Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen was at the forefront of Pakistan’s first-ever win in World Cups against their arch-rivals. He ended with figures of 3/31 and helped restrict India to 152 before the Pakistan openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, chased it down in a hurry.

Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi
Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi. Credits: Twitter

It was a great day for me, to be honest. A lot of people watch India-Pakistan matches, including those who don’t even like cricket (laughs). When I look back on that win, I feel very proud. Yes, we couldn’t win the World Cup but we did well in that game against India and I’ll try to give my best even in the next World Cup,” Shaheen added.

The 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia will begin in October and Pakistan will face India once again at the MCG.

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India National Cricket Team India vs Pakistan KL Rahul Pakistan national cricket team Rohit Sharma Shaheen Afridi Virat Kohli