No one bowls a more dangerous first over than Shaheen Afridi, says Aakash Chopra

Written by Sumit Seth

Former India batter Aakash Chopra has heaped praise on Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, saying no one bowls a better first over than him. India is set to face Pakistan in the Super-4 stage of the ongoing 2023 Asia Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Speaking on his Youtube channel, Chopra said no one bowls a more dangerous first over in cricket than Afridi as he pitches the ball up. Afridi has picked seven wickets in the 2023 Asia Cup, while claiming four wickets against India in the group stages.

“Shaheen Shah Afridi is fast gaining a reputation whether he is the world’s best bowler in white-ball cricket or not. There is no doubt that among all bowlers who are playing cricket currently, no one bowls a more dangerous first over than this bowler because he pitches the ball right up, gets it to swing, and has bounce and courage as well,” said Chopra.

He went on to say that pacer Haris Rauf is equally good as he has deceptive pace and bounce. Rauf is currently the top wicket-taker in the tournament, claiming nine wickets.

“Haris Rauf is equally good. He has deceptive pace and bounce although he bowls from a little further back. His pace might increase by a yard or two if he bowls from slightly further up but his ball travels. You feel it will come slow but it goes and hits near the bat’s handle,” Chopra added.

Chopra called Naseem Shah brilliant as well, insisting that he gets a lot of swing because of his straight-arm action. Naseem has also picked up seven wickets in the 2023 Asia Cup.

“Naseem Shah is brilliant. Naseem’s story is that his hand is so straight, it is absolutely zero seam, which means the seam is absolutely straight. If the seam is slightly left or right, it aids the swing, but if the ball goes with an absolutely straight seam, just like it does for Mohammad Shami, it swings less and there are more cutters, but he also bowls close to 150 kph,” said Chopra.

Having defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets in their first Super-4 match, Pakistan will take on India on September 10.

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Sumit Seth