‘Shaheen Shah Afridi is not Wasim Akram, so let’s not overhype him,’ says Ravi Shastri after Pakistan’s defeat to India

Pakistan cricket team slumped to a seven-wicket defeat at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad against India on Saturday. It was a reality check for the Pakistan team which was cruising at one stage at 154/2, before skipper Babar Azam departed in the 30th over. That saw Pakistan unravel, with the visitors collapsing to a paltry target of 191.

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While the target to defend was not big, the Pakistan team lost inside 31 overs, with their attack managing to take just three Indian wickets.

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Their key bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, claimed two wickets, that of Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit, but ended up conceding 36 runs off his six overs. By the time he claimed Rohit’s wicket, the damage was already done and India’s victory had started to appear as a foregone conclusion.

While Rohit was batting in the 80s and had more or less assured the victory for India, over in the Hindi commentary box, former India cricketer Ravi Shastri, Jatin Sapru and Irfan Pathan were commentating on the action. That’s when Shastri started to speak about Shaheen.

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“He is a good bowler, he can claim a wicket with the new ball. But you have to admit it, if Naseem Shah is not playing and the quality of Pakistan’s spin bowling is like this, then Shaheen Shah Afridi koi Wasim Akram nai hai! Acche bowler hai. Lekin itna bhi jyaada chadane ka koi zaroorat nahi hai. Jab hai theek thak, toh bolna chahiye woh theek thaak hai. Chadha ke nahin bithana chahiye ki bohot zabardast hai. Yeh nahi hai! Yeh maan na padega. (Shaheen is not Wasim Akram. He’s a good bowler, but there is no need for us to hype him so highly as well. If a player is simply a good player, we should restrict our praise to saying he is a good player. He’s not a great player, we need to admit that),” Shastri said pulling no punches.

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