Former Pakistan seamer Aaqib Javed believes Shaheen Shah Afridi’s spell against India in the ongoing T20 World Cup has affected them psychologically. Javed reflected on India’s second consecutive loss against New Zealand, saying Afridi’s performance pegged them back.
Shaheen Afridi delivered a match-winning spell for Pakistan against India in Dubai, getting rid of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma cheaply. As a result, the Men in Blue changed their opening combination against New Zealand, inserting Ishan Kishan with Rahul at the top.
However, that didn’t pay off either. Kishan fell for just four to Trent Boult while Rahul was scalped by Tim Southee for 18.
Speaking on PTV Sports, Aaqib Javed was surprised to see Rohit Sharma batting at number three as he is one of the best openers in the format. Javed opined that Rohit should have faced Trent Boult instead of panicking and it impacted the team negatively.
“Rohit Sharma is one of the best players in T20 cricket but after one blow of Shaheen Shah Afridi, you changed your openers. You brought in Ishan Kishan as he is a leftie because they were afraid of putting two righties against [Trent] Boult, so Rohit was made to bat at number three. It was only two overs [opening spell] and being one of the best in the world, Rohit should have gone out as an opener rather than hiding. It’s all about confidence. If your number one player is not confident and ready to take the charge, its sends the same message to the entire team.”
Virat Kohli’s men delivered a disastrous batting performance against New Zealand on Sunday in Dubai. They only managed 110 on the board and the Kiwis chased it down in 14.3 overs for their first victory of the competition.
India on the brink of an early elimination
After suffering another heavy defeat, India slumped to fifth spot in Group 2, with Scotland the only side behind them. Even if Kohli’s side win their remaining three games, they may still fail to progress to the semi-finals.
Pakistan, who are perched atop the table with three wins from as many matches, look set to finish first. At the moment, New Zealand and Afghanistan are better placed than India to take second place and progress to the semi-finals.
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