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Dhaka Tribune

Afridi counting on pacemen, Rohit’s focus on batting

Update : 26 Feb 2016, 08:23 PM

All the three matches of the ongoing Asia Cup Twenty20 saw the pacemen rule the roost. The condition and the wicket at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium have been different from usual, thus giving the edge to the speedsters. Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi ahead of their match against arch-rival India in Mirpur today said the pacers are likely to dominate their game too.

History indicates that the Pakistan pace attack has troubled India every time the two sides met. Afridi believes all his pacers, including the likes of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir are in good shape and are ready to trouble the Indian batsmen.

“Certainly it can be the case (pace bowlers forming the main source of attack in this conditions). We have got four pacers and they are cricketers who are considered to be wicket-takers. Our fast bowlers will try to utilise the opening six overs and try to remove their batsmen as that is considered to be their strength,” Afridi told the media at Fatullah’s Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium yesterday.

“Indian batsmen usually play the spinners very well and they have in-form players in their squad as they have come here playing some good cricket (against Australia and Sri Lanka). Our fast bowlers are in good shape whether it is Amir, Wahab or Irfan. I know their batting is strong but we also have a formidable bowling attack. I hope the result will be good for us,” the Pakistan captain added.

Meanwhile, in-form India opener Rohit Sharma said India will not like to think of the Pakistan bowlers much. The right-handed batsman said India rely on their batting, much like Pakistan do with their bowling.

“They have a formidable bowling attack no doubt but we would want to concentrate more on our strengths and prepare our plans accordingly. Our strength is batting and depending on the wicket, we will have to focus on that,” said Rohit.

“Every team has its own specialities. They have good left-arm seamers in their armoury while our bowling attack is more potent and has more variety in it,” he added.

The wicket in Mirpur has been atypical. The green grass on the wicket has taken all the teams, including home side Bangladesh, by surprise. The respective top-orders have suffered the most due to the early movement which gives the pacers the edge. But Rohit informed that they are not concerned, bearing in mind they had scored big in their previous game.

“It’s not a matter of concern because we still scored big (against Bangladesh). Games will happen where you will lose wickets but we have a solid team which is ready to take up the challenge. Against Bangladesh, our middle-order did well. Hardik [Pandya] came in and did well. As a batsman, you have to concentrate on basics. Your technique has to be sound and you have to assess the conditions as soon as possible,” the India batsman explained. 

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