Sunil Gavaskar hailed Naseem Shah for terrific spell in the IND vs PAK Asia Cup group match and said his spell made life tough for Indian batters.
India and Pakistan are set to lock horns at the Premadasa Stadium today, September 10 in a crucial Super 4s match. The first clash between the two teams resulted in a washout. The match was set to be a cracking affair after Pakistan bowled out India for 266 but rain had the final say and the game was called off.
Pakistan pacers ran riot and rattled the Indian top order before Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82) helped India bounce back and put a decent total on the board. Shaheen Afridi was the star of Pakistan bowling and picked four wickets, including the prized scalps of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels that while all the focus is on Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah could be the game-changer for Pakistan. Citing the example of the previous clash, Gavaskar said that Naseem Shah bowled a brilliant spell and made life tough for the Indian batters.
“If you looked at those 10 overs, you must have noticed the way Naseem Shah bowled. His out-swingers were brilliant, playing him was pretty difficult. Shaheen Afridi did take two wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, so focus was on him. But the way Naseem bowled, that was terrific. Shubman Gill was playing majorly against him, and he was leaving him well,” Gavaskar said in a joint broadcast from Sports Tak and Samaa TV.
“If batters keep getting out at other end, it’s important to stick around. Shubman isn’t in the best form right now, so he knows he has to take responsibility. This was a 50-over game after all. He has the shots to make up for slow start. I guess that’s why he was watchful, and a bit nervous. But Naseem Shah kept Shubman Gill quiet,” said Gavaskar further.
Meanwhile, rain is likely to impact the India vs Pakistan Super 4 clash as well. However, the Asian Cricket Council has added a reserve day if the match is interrupted due to bad weather.