Indo-Pak competition between Shubman Gill and Shaheen Shah Afridi
The two rising talents will square off in the Asia Cup for the first time since the 2018 U-19 World Cup.
Shaheen Shah Afridi is from a distant town in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region close to the Afghan border, whereas Shubman Gill is from a small village near the India-Pakistan border. Both fell in love with the sport there, but they were forced to move away from home at an early age in order to access better cricketing facilities. While Gill relocated to Chandigarh, Afridi’s family established a home base in Peshawar.
When Gill was four years old, his landlord father would throw plastic balls down a long hallway in the village of Chak Kherewala in the Punjabi region of Fazilka. This is when Gill first developed a liking for the game. After watching his older brother Riaz Afridi play one Test match for Pakistan, a little boy far away at the same time started to take an interest in fast bowling.
On a cricket field, Gill and Afridi have only ever come into contact once. It happened during the 2018 U-19 World Cup semifinals. While Afridi had a disappointing day, Gill, the player of the tournament, produced an unbeaten century in the game.
When Gill came out to bat in that game, he and teammate bowler Muhammad Musa got into a tasty verbal spat in Punjabi.
“A bouncer was the first ball I faced. The ball hit my handle and traveled to mid-on because I took too long to react. I had 86 points in the last game versus Bangladesh. We are not bowlers from Bangladesh, the bowler and his bowling partner claimed to me as they approached me.I remained silent. I disdained the following over’s pull shot, and when I crossed to the other end, I informed them that I was not a Pakistani batter either. Gill had revealed to this reporter following India’s title victory in 2018.
Gill was admonished by the then-U-19 coach Rahul Dravid after celebrating like Virat Kohli after scoring another century. In the changing room, Dravid had said, “Not like this young man.
Gill faced 13 deliveries from Afridi throughout the innings and scored 19 runs. The two have only ever faced off against one another once so far.
Both individuals, who are 23 years old, have already had their fair share of professional triumphs and setbacks. Afridi, who was quickly promoted to the Pakistan senior team, has already taken 100 wickets in Test matches. He also helped Lahore Qalandars win the PSL.
In addition to helping Gujarat Titans win the IPL in their inaugural season, Gill demonstrated his class at the Gabba during a successful 330-run chase to win a Test series during India’s most recent trip of Australia. He has solidified his position in the Indian team in all three formats over the last 1.5 years.
Cut to the present: Gill and Afridi will face off against one another on Saturday, if the weather gods allow, in their senior careers.
Pakistani left-arm pacers, such as Wasim Akram, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, or Afridi right now, have consistently caused problems for India’s top order.
A few years ago, Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets in Dubai, snapping a World Cup winless record against their bitter rivals. Afridi was the one who established the tone, too. The first pitch was unplayable for Rohit Sharma. Another in-ducker, the ball shaping in and passing through the gate, defeated KL Rahul. Afridi’s initial attack put India on the back foot.
The left-arm bowler will once more put the Indian openers to the test on Sunday. He will be targeting Gill, his longtime foe, this time.
Despite being in excellent form, the young Indian star has had trouble with incoming deliveries, even when playing at home against players like Kyle Jamison, James Anderson, and Kagiso Rabada, all of whom have dismissed him with nip-backers in various forms. In these dismissals, there has been a pattern where Gill gets stopped with his trigger action and is slow to lean forward.
“I noticed he was moving the trigger too much in the sideways direction. A little too quickly, too. You might experience real good days and real awful days as a result of it. On some days, the bowling will help you score runs or the trigger movement will be in rhythm. The movements will also occasionally be out of sync with what is necessary, as former India opener WV Raman recently informed this newspaper.
Afridi can make life difficult for Gill by producing deliveries that cut back in sharply, which is still a problem for him.
The India-Pakistan games, meanwhile, are not simply about the players’ abilities because attitude also has a big impact on the result. It’s all about managing pressure in an India-Pakistan encounter, as the adage goes.
The only thing that matters is who prevails; both Gill and Afridi have the ability to handle the situation. Their matchup is anticipated to have a significant impact on the outcome of the game in Pallekele or in Ahmedabad during the World Cup, as well as for the next ten years whenever the two teams compete at key competitions in the shape of a new Gen Z rivalry.