Indian commentator Aakash Chopra wants India’s batsmen to play each ball on its merit and not be influenced by the reputation of Pakistan’s fast bowlers in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash between the two sides. The two arch-rivals will face each other on Sunday, September 10 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. In the Group A encounter between the two teams, Pakistan’s fast bowlers took all 10 Indian wickets, with Shaheen Shah Afridi taking four wickets.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra urged the Indian batsmen not to let the past exploits of Pakistan fast bowlers play in their minds. He elaborated:
“Against Pakistan’s pacers, play the ball and not the bowler. Don’t lose more than one wicket in the first 15 overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi is staying rent-free in our minds at the moment. It is the truth that he is playing on our minds and he is not alone.”
The former Indian opener added:
“Let’s be honest, he has Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf alongside him. When this trio attacks together, they surround you. Our coach used to tell us that you don’t have to play the bowler, a ball only is going to come out of his hand and you have to play that ball. So forget the bowler’s reputation.”
Aakash Chopra said that India should not lose too many wickets against the new ball. He said that if this happens then they stop pursuing the game, which becomes a problem.
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“Put The Fifth Bowler Under Extreme Pressure” – Aakash Chopra
wants India to take the attack to Pakistan’s fifth bowler. He said:
“The second thing is to attack the fifth bowler. If you are able to manage the first 15 overs, then put the fifth bowler under immense pressure. It could be Mohammad Nawaz or Faheem Ashraf, whoever it is, go after him.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator said that if the fifth bowler proves costly then Babar Azam will have to bring a part-time spinner like Agha Salman into the attack. They said:
“You have to show intent somewhere. You shouldn’t do it against the new ball because you need to respect the threat in front of you. So give respect to the new-ball bowlers and hit the fifth bowler. Put them under pressure, so that Agha Salman comes to bowl, and then you can actually capitalize.”
Pakistan have already announced their playing XI for Sunday’s game. They have omitted Mohammad Nawaz from the squad that will play the group game against the Men in Blue and included an additional fast bowler in the form of Faheem Ashraf.