MELBOURNE: Shaheen Shah Afridi is one of the best white ball bowlers in the world and Indian batters must try to play him ‘straight’ even if they attack the talented Pakistani point guard with their left arm, legend Sachin Tendulkar has said.
In his prime, Tendulkar played a lot of limited overs cricket against Wasim Akram, perhaps the greatest left-arm fast bowler of all time and the maestro shared his observations with PTI in a chat.
When asked what he would have done if he had faced a bowler of Shaheen’s caliber during his playing days, Tendulkar laughed and said, “I haven’t decided as such because I know I won’t face him.”
But more seriously, he shared his point of view.
“Shaheen is an offensive bowler and he likes to go for wickets. He throws the ball and steps back to swing the ball. He has the ability to beat batters in the air and off the field with his pace up front. So with him strategy should be to play straight and in the ‘V’,” Tendulkar said.
Shaheen’s greatest asset is getting the ball into the right-handers at a quick pace and even getting a few to hold his line seemingly without a change of pace.
He also has a good short ball that can press hitters and make them candidates for the front leg.
Tendulkar, a quintessential technician, also cautioned that even if a batter makes a trigger move (the initial reflex move), it shouldn’t be akin to committing to play the shot.
“The triggering movement is a preparation to play the ball and not an engagement, if you don’t commit to playing the ball it can be either on the front foot or on the back foot, but it is a movement of trigger and not a commitment,” he said.
“Because once you’re engaged on the back foot, you can’t come on the front foot and vice versa. The trigger movement is about preparation.
“Every ball there’s some kind of movement, as long as it’s not an engagement, it’s fine,” Tendulkar concluded.
India and Pakistan will face each other in their T20 World Cup opening match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, here on Sunday.

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