Ahead of the India vs Pakistan Super 4 encounter in the Asia Cup 2023, young India opener Shubman Gill has admitted that the Indian batsmen are not completely ready to face Shaheen Afridi, and the Pakistani pace trio.
The Pakistan pace attack comprising Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah has been ruling the Asia Cup 2023 so far. Rauf is the leading wicket-taker at the moment with 8 wickets, followed by Shaheen and Naseem, both of whom have 7 wickets each.
The trio had combined to bowl India out for 266 in their previous meeting. Shaheen Afridi had taken the first two wickets of captain Rohit Sharma and senior batsman Virat Kohli, before returning to dismiss Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Rauf recently took a 4-fer against Bangladesh on a flat pitch in Lahore.
On the eve of their encounter on Sunday in Colombo, Shubman Gill said that India haven’t faced a lot of these three Pakistani bowlers – as the two teams don’t play in bilateral matches and never play in franchise leagues together as well – so the batters aren’t as much prepared to tackle them as they would have liked to.
“When you are playing at this level, you play left-armer pacers previously at some point of your career. We do not play Pakistan that much as compared to the other sides. They have a quality bowling attack. When you do not face such a bowling attack frequently and are not used to it, it makes a difference,” Shubman Gill said.
We admire Babar Azam: Shubman Gill
The 24-year-old also heaped praise on Babar Azam, hailing the Pakistani captain as a “world-class player”.
“Yes, definitely we follow him. When a player is doing well. Everyone watches him to find out why they are doing so good, what their specialty is. The same thing goes for Babar. He is a world-class player and we all do admire him,” added Gill.
Talking about Shubman Gill, he has batted twice in Asia with mixed returns. In the first match against Pakistan, he scored 10 runs in 32 balls and was troubled by the pace and swing of Afridi and Naseem before being bowled by Haris Rauf.
After that, Shubman rocked back to form against Nepal, playing a knock of 67* runs in India’s 10-wicket win.