Asia Cup 2023: “Best is yet to come,” says Shaheen Afridi ahead of India versus Pakistan Super-4 clash

Shaheen claimed four wickets in Pakistan's group-stage match against India.

Shaheen Afridi | GettyShaheen Afridi put on a show with the ball during Pakistan’s high-voltage Asia Cup 2023 match against India in Pallekele last week.

The left-arm pacer dismissed star batters Rohit Sharma (11) and Virat Kohli (4) with the new ball. He also took the wickets of India's top-scorer Hardik Pandya (87) and Ravindra Jadeja (14) in the death overs to return with the figures of 4 for 35 in his 10 overs. 

As Pakistan are gearing up to face India again in the Super-4 around on September 10, Shaheen has issued a warning to the arch-rivals saying that his best is yet to come.

"Every match against India is special and people watch this a lot. I used to wait for this match as a fan before I played under-16 cricket," Shaheen told AFP.

"I can't say this has been my best spell so far. This is just the start and there will be many more, so the best is yet to come," he added.

With his ability to move the ball both ways, the 23-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s most potent pacers across formats.

"If you play all the three formats at such a young age for Pakistan and handle the new ball, people expect you to perform like that," he stated.

The main reason behind Pakistan’s success in the continental tournament has been the performances of their fast bowlers. The pace troika of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf has troubled all the opposition batters they have faced so far.

While Rauf is the leading wicket-taker in the competition so far with nine scalps to his name, Shaheen and Naseem have claimed seven wickets each.

"We know our roles with the new and old ball," the left-armer said. "Haris is quicker than us and impacts with his pace. Naseem and I try to get early breakthroughs."

“The communication is good between us. And that's our success," he further remarked.

Shaheen Afridi is yet to play a match on Indian soil since bilateral cricket ties are frozen between the two countries because of political tensions.

Shaheen is keen to do well when Pakistan take on hosts India in the much-anticipated World Cup fixture in Ahmedabad on October 14.

"All the foreign players who have played in the IPL (Indian Premier League), we had discussions with them. I think our Pakistan wickets or Dubai pitches will be similar," he said.

"Spinners will get more help, maybe. We will hit good lengths. Our team performance is going well as the number one (ODI) team. We have prepared well."


By Salman Anjum - 09 Sep, 2023

    Share Via