Like India, Pakistan too have lost their star pacer to injury ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament in the UAE. On Saturday, Shaheen Afridi was ruled out of the entire tournament due to a knee injury sustained during the Test match against Sri Lanka. India also lost Jasprit Bumrah to injury earlier. After the big news for Pakistan, former fast bowler Aaqib Javed made a big statement comparing the situation and impact of these players on their teams.
In an interview with Paktv.tv, Javed echoed the words of Pakistan legend Waqar Younis, saying that Shaheen’s injury will come as a huge relief to the Indian team due to his ability with the new ball. The World Cup winner explained that with India having such a strong batting line-up, early wickets with the new ball will be the key as Shaheen showed in the 2021 T20 World Cup meet while Mohammed Amir showed in the 2017 Champions Trophy . final.
This is a huge setback for Pakistan. Because the way he bowls, even in T20 cricket, the batsmen are left in a dilemma whether to save themselves from lbw or from being bowled out. So when Shaheen is mixing, there is a huge pressure on the batters. You have to deal with the new ball, especially against India, the way their middle-order batting line-up is, it will be tough for Pakistan. The last two times Pakistan beat India – in the Champions Trophy (2017 final) and the last World Cup (WC 2021 T20), the pattern was similar – the left-arm pacer applying the early pressure. So India will be greatly relieved. Nobody wants to face Shaheen with the new ball,” he said.
The veteran cricketer then weighed in by comparing Bumrah-less India and Shaheen-less Pakistan, saying the latter depended much more on the fast bowler than India did on Bumrah, despite the side’s bowling attack looking weak. “With Bumrah there, no Indian bowling attack has weakened. There is no Shami either. But the role that Shaheen has in Pakistan’s bowling attack shows that the team depends on him more than India depends on Bumrah,” he said.