Shaheen Afridi: 'Knew there will be less swing, so the key is to control my line and length'

Shaheen Afridi: 'Knew there will be less swing, so the key is to control my line and length'

Article Posted on 8 November, 2023

Pakistan spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi has become cricket’s top-ranked bowler but his prime concern is keeping his side in the World Cup.

The 23-year-old, who has 16 wickets at the tournament, has displaced Australian quick Josh Hazlewood at the top of the pile, taking the honour for the first time since making his international debut in 2018.

Skipper Babar Azam retains his top spot in the ODI ranking for the batters, a position that the skipper has held for more than two years.

Afridi claimed 3-23 in the seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in Kolkata on Tuesday, a victory which kept alive their slim hopes of making the semi-finals.

His dismissal of Bangladesh opener Tanzid Hasan also gave him a 100th wicket in his 51st one-day international.

“I am delighted at completing 100 ODI wickets but the biggest thing is that all these wickets are for Pakistan and my goal is always to do something that helps us win,” said Shaheen.

Shaheen’s success in India has come despite a lack of swing, prompting him to adjust his sights in the campaign.

“I watched some of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches this year and there was not much swing,” said Shaheen.

“So I am not much surprised. But this is not for me only, it’s for other left armers like (Mitchell) Starc and (Trent) Boult also,” he said.

He added: “I knew there will be less swing so the effort is on keeping a proper line and length and that is very important.”

Shaheen also hailed fellow fast bowlers Haris Rauf (2-36 against Bangladesh) and Mohammad Wasim (3-31).

“It was not easy for Wasim to sit on the bench and then on getting an opportunity he bowled very well in both the games he has played,” said Shaheen.

“Haris has speed and has played a key role in white ball cricket for Pakistan. It is good for Pakistan cricket to have bowlers like them.”

With the win against Bangladesh, Pakistan have six points from seven games.

They not only need to win their remaining two matches but also hope other results go their way if they are to make the semi-finals.


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