‘India batters were playing 130 km/h deliveries in IPL but facing Shaheen was a different cup of tea’: Matthew Hayden
Shaheen dismissed Rohit Sharma for a golden duck with an in-swinging yorker and then cleaned up KL Rahul. Hayden said Shaheen showed admirable courage to try out a yorker at pace in the first over of the match.
Former Australia opener and current Pakistan batting consultant for the T20 World Cup 2021 Matthew Hayden said one of the main reasons behind the Indian top-order's struggle against Shaheen Shah Afridi was that they were majorly facing deliveries bowled at 130km/h in the IPL and the Pakistan pacer was much quicker. Shaheen created the base of Pakistan's historic first-ever victory against India in the World Cup in any format by sending back India openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his first two overs with the new ball.
"They (the Indian batters) had been facing 130km/h deliveries for the last month during the IPL. It's a different cup of tea when you are facing someone running and bowling at Shaheen Shah Afridi's pace," Hayden told Fox Cricket after Pakistan's 10-wicket win.
Shaheen dismissed Rohit Sharma for a golden duck with an in-swinging yorker that hit the Indian vice-captain on the back leg. Hayden said Shaheen showed admirable courage to try out a yorker at pace in the first over of the match.
“They were the best two balls that I've seen in five weeks. A fast in-swinging yorker and the courage that it takes to bowl that delivery against Rohit Sharma with the new ball is admirable,” Hayden added.
The Pakistan left-armer then cleaned up KL Rahul, who has been in fantastic form, with another sharp in-dipper to break India's top-order. Hayden said they were the best two balls he had seen in the last five weeks and they were like a two punch combination.
“I don't think I have not seen the ball hitting Rahul's middle of the bat in five weeks and then he gets that delivery. That was like the two punch combination that sent India on the backfoot in the powerplay,” Hayden added.
Pakistan have been in top form in this World Cup so far. The Babar Azam-led side went to register a five-wicket win over New Zealand after beating to strengthen their position at the top of Group 2 in the Super 12 stage.
India, on the other hand, will take on New Zealand on October 21 in what could turn out to be a virtual quarterfinal as both of them are expected to beat the other teams - Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia - in the group.
Only two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.