Gambhir's fresh attack on Virat Kohli, calls him 'casual' for ‘nothing shot' off Shaheen in IND vs PAK Asia Cup match
Gautam Gambhir slammed Virat Kohli for his indecisiveness against Shaheen Shah Afridi in the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match in Pallekele.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were bowled in the same ODI for the first time, courtesy of Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. But the similarities between their dismissals end there. Rohit received what can be described as an unplayable delivery from Shaheen, especially if one considers the previous two deliveries which went on with the angle and beat his bat. The same, however, cannot be said about Kohli, whose gingerly foot movement and wrong shot selection cost him.
The likes of Waqar Younis, and Matthew Hayden termed Shaheen's delivery to Rohit as an outstanding one and said Kohli was a tad unlucky to get an inside edge back onto his stumps. But former India opener Gautam Gambhir was having none of it. He slammed Kohli for his indecisiveness against Shaheen Afridi.
"That was a nothing shot, neither forward, neither back. I think was a bit casual. That's what you get when you play someone like Shaheen Afridi. You don't know whether to go forward or back," Gambhir said in commentary on Star Sports.
Pakistan legend Waqar was not so harsh. "Kohli was a touch unlucky. Inside edge, the ball didn't come on to bat and maybe even kept a bit low. But credit to Shaheen Shah Afridi for altering his length," he said.
Hayden agreed: "Yeah, inside edge onto the stumps, could have got anywhere," he said.
The incident happened in the third delivery of the 7th over of India's innings. Shaheen had just dismissed India captain Rohit with a peach of a delivery after play resumed following a short rain interruption. The left-arm pacer ran in, hit the pitch hard and pushed the ball across Kohli. The former India captain tried to run it down to third man and got a thick inside edge back onto his stumps.
Generally, Kohli would pull this shot off 9 out of 10 times but not this time. And there were a few reasons for that. Only six balls into the innings, it was way too early to attempt a dab down third man, especially on a pitch that had shown signs of being two-paced and up and down as early as the second over of the match. Lastly, he did not cover the line of the ball with a big enough stride. Despite getting off the mark with a booming cover drive off Naseem Shah, Kohli had to walk back for only 4.
Shaheen and Haris Rauf got two wickets each to leave India's in a spot of bother but thanks to a record fifth-wicket partnership between Ishan Kishan (82) and Hardik Pandya (87), India managed to put 266 runs on the board. Shaheen ended up with 4 for 35 while Haris and Naseem finished with three-fers.