Asia Cup 2023: “When you don't play against such attacks,” Shubman Gill acknowledges brilliance of Pakistan's pace trio

Indian top-order struggled against the Pakistan pace battery in the Asia Cup group match.

Shubman Gill | GettyPakistan have performed brilliantly in the ongoing Asia Cup so far. In the group stage, the Men in Green registered a crushing 238-run victory over Nepal while their marquee encounter against India was abandoned due to rain.

In the first game of the Super-4 round, the Babar Azam-led side thrashed Bangladesh by seven wickets to go one step closer towards the final.

The main reason behind Pakistan’s success in the continental event 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.

On the eve of India versus Pakistan Super-4 clash, India opener Shubman Gill also acknowledged the brilliance of Pakistani pacers, saying that not facing them enough makes it difficult in mega events.

"We don't play against Pakistan as often as we do against some other teams. We all know that their bowling attack is quite good and when you don't play against such attacks often it makes a bit of difference in main tournaments," Gill said in a pre-match press conference.

Since bilateral cricket ties are frozen between the two countries because of political tensions, India get to play Pakistan only during the Asia Cup or at the ICC tournaments.

Gill said that he relies on left-arm throw-down specialist Nuwan Seneviratne to prepare him for the challenge against Shaheen and other Pakistan quicks.

"Definitely (training has helped). He (Nuwan) has been travelling with us for the last 7-8 years. It is nice to have that variation. We have that right-arm specialist (Raghu), the side-arm specialist (Dayannd Garani) and the left-arm specialist. It does help in any conditions that you play," he remarked.

Shubman Gill then explained why the Pakistani pacers are making such an impact.

"They are very different fast bowlers and they have their own specialities. Shaheen gets the ball to swing a lot. Naseem is all about pace and likes help from the wicket. They present different challenges in different conditions," he stated.

Gill said that Indian batters will have to play attacking cricket unlike last time when the top order was blown away for 66.

"As openers, we need to make a good start and dominate them from the beginning. He (Rohit) is someone who likes to take on the bowlers more aerially and I like playing along the ground in the power play. That combination works well for us. We both are a bit different, how we go about our shots and tackle the situations. That makes it a bit difficult for opposition to contain us."

Gill also expressed his admiration for Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. "You obviously look at him. You have to see his videos to learn why he's doing so well. He is a world class player and we also admire him a lot,” he concluded.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 09 Sep, 2023

    Share Via