Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi looked off-colour in the encounter, conceding 79 runs from his 10 overs and finishing with a solitary scalp against India.
New Delhi: Indian veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed his opinion that the Indian team openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill’s aggressive approach towards Pakistan ace pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi had put Babar Azam & Co. under pressure when the two sides met in the Super Four clash of the Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo.
Unbeaten centuries by Virat Kohli and K.L. Rahul, followed by a terrific five-wicket haul from Kuldeep Yadav helped India thrash archrivals Pakistan by 228 runs in a totally one-sided Super-Four match in in the Asia Cup 2023 at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Monday. Resuming their assault on Pakistan on the reserve day starting at 4:40 pm after a rain delay, India reached a mammoth 356/2, their highest score against Pakistan in ODIs.
In reply, Pakistan were nowhere in the chase as only three of their batters managed to go past 20. India’s fast bowlers were impeccable in their line and length while putting out a surreal exhibition of seam and swing bowling.
Kuldeep then came to bamboozle the batters and pick 5/25, his second fifer in ODIs, as Pakistan were restricted to just 128, with 228 runs being the highest margin of win for India against Pakistan in terms of runs.
Ashwin said that it was a calculated move from India, as they had enough depth in their batting lineup. The veteran off-spinner reckoned that the Men in Blue had enough firepower left even if the side lost wickets while trying to attack.
“Both Rohit (Sharma) and (Shubman) Gill reminded me of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana’s partnership during the 1996 World Cup. It’s all about who goes back foot first during a game. Pakistan went into the backfoot when India attacked Shaheen Shah Afridi early on,” Ravichandran Ashwin explained on his YouTube channel.
“See, you can lose a couple of wickets. But India knew they had the batting strength. So, they knew even if they had lost the openers, they could have put a partnership with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul and made a comeback,” he added.
Shaheen Afridi dismantled the Men in Blue’s top-order with his new ball spell when these two Asian giants met in the group stage clash at the very same venue. Rohit Sharma and Gill turned things around in the Super Four, accumulating 31 runs off the left-arm speedster’s first three overs.
Shaheen looked off-colour in the encounter, conceding 79 runs from his 10 overs and finishing with a solitary scalp.