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India need to prepare for good length deliveries: Manjrekar

With the India-Pakistan Asia Cup Super Four clash happening in Colombo on Sunday, the focus will be on how the Indian batters will counter Pakistan’s pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Afridi emerged as the stand-out bowler for Pakistan by taking 4-35 in skittling India for 266 in the Asia Cup Group A match at Pallekele last week. Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar spoke on how the Indian top order should prepare themselves to face Afridi in the upcoming highly-anticipated clash.

“Actually, the match between India and Pakistan was a very interesting clash between Shaheen Afridi versus India’s 1, 2, and 3. Gill, Rohit, and Virat. The opening phase had two spells; in the first spell, before the rain had come, he was bowling typical Shaheen Afridi kind of deliveries. He was bowling further up the pitch, trying to get the ball to swing inwards, and that length was being played very well by Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma,” said Manjrekar to Star Sports.

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Though he tested openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, Shaheen was successful after the first rain interruption in India’s innings. Shaheen found some movement to beat Rohit twice and finally got his man when the left-arm pacer got one to nip back in and hit the top of the right-handed batter’s off-stump through the gate.

In his next over, Shaheen cramped Virat Kohli for room on an attempted punch, to which the right-handed batter could only chop onto his stumps. It also made Shaheen the first bowler in international cricket to get Rohit and Kohli out via “bowled” mode of dismissal in an ODI match in his electrifying opening spell.

“Shaheen Afridi, instead of bowling it up further, which he thought was his main weapon – to bring the ball up further and have it swing, was being played very well by the Indian team and the Indian openers. After that, the rain happened, and Waqar Younis, who was in commentary with me, said that he should pull his length a bit back; it should be a little short.”







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