Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket during the T20 World Cup 2021 match against India. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan’s star left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi has opened up on former captain Shahid Afridi’s words of encouragement ahead of the team’s T20 World Cup clash against India last year. Shaheen said that since he had only played one match against the arch-rivals prior to the World Cup clash in Dubai, he sought Afridi’s advice.
There was immense pressure on Pakistan heading into the marquee match of the ICC event as they had never beaten India in a World Cup game before (T20 or 50 over version). India went in as favorites with a side packed with superstar batters like skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Shaheen, however, dismissed all three of them as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets.
Speaking to Geo Super on Tuesday, the 22-year-old revealed the advice Afridi gave him and said:
“When we had that match against India in the T20 World Cup, I requested Lala to have a word with me. Because before that I played just one match against India, that too in Asia Cup, with was in One-Day format. And this was a T20 game and we never won a World Cup game against India. So I thought that this was a big opportunity for me. So I called Lala for some tips.”
The left-arm seamer added about the precious conversation:
“I asked him, ‘What different do I do today?’. He gave me very good advice and told, ‘Do something so that the entire stadium notices only Shaheen’ and give your 100 percent in bowling and fielding. I just did that and we got the results.”
Pakistan fielded first after winning the toss and restricted India to 151 for 7. The openers then chased down the target in 17.5 overs.
Shaheen Afridi stunned India with early wickets of Rohit, Rahul
The Pakistan left-arm seamer trapped Rohit for a golden duck with a yorker-length delivery that slanted in and caught the Indian batter right in front of the stumps. In his next over, he cleaned up Rahul with a sharp delivery that beat him for pace.
The fast bowler returned to end Kohli’s innings on 57, forcing him to top edge a slower bouncer. The left-armer ended with figures of 3 for 31.
Chasing 152, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hit unbeaten half-centuries as Pakistan ended their losing jinx against India in World Cups.