PAK Should Have Bowled India Out For 200: Shoaib Akhtar Slams Babar Azam’s Captaincy-TGN

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was greatly impressed by the Pakistani pace bowling trio of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf that bowled India out for 266 in the Asia Cup 2023 encounter in Kandy on Saturday.

However, the iconic pacer was critical of Babar Azam’s captaincy, opining that had Babar been more aggressive with his bowling changes, Pakistan could have bundled India for under 200, after having them on the ropes at 66/4 at one stage.

A terrific, fighting partnership of 138 runs off 141 balls between Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan pulled India out of the early trouble they were in and stretched them to a good total. After the first four wickets by the pacers, Babar Azam employed his three spinners- Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Agha Salman- which allowed Pandya and Kishan to breathe easy and score comfortably.

Shoaib Akhtar feels that Babar Azam should have brought back his three pacers for two-over spells to break the partnership of Kishan and Hardik. This lack of proactiveness from the Pakistani captain was criticized by many.

“When you have four early wickets, you shouldn’t let them play out the innings. Pakistan should have bowled them out by the 40th over given the start they got. India’s morale would have fallen, they could have departed for 170-200,” Shoaib Akhtar said in his YouTube video.

“A small mistake from Babar I feel. 15-17 overs by spinners in that situation, which I didn’t think was right. Attack should always be on. You need wickets, you’re not defending in that situation.”

Shaheen is a superstar: Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar heaped rich praises for “superstar” fast bowler Shaheen Afridi, who knocked over Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the first powerplay. In his later spell, he got rid of Hardik and Jadeja. Shaheen finished with superb bowling figures of 10-2-35-4.

“What a great spell by Shaheen, what a great bowler he is,” Akhtar said. “Everyone knows how he’s going to approach his bowling, bring the ball in, using swing and seam, but the Indian batsmen had no answers.

“Shaheen Shah is a superstar. The bowling was very solid. Pakistan have got one of the best attacks. This is fast bowling at its best.”


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