Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Shikhar Dhawan, the India opening batsman, picked South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada over Pakistan pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi when putting together the first five players in his dream XI for the ongoing 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Explaining the reason behind that selection, Dhawan noted that he had already included Australia quick Mitchell Starc as one of his five players, meaning if he picked Afridi, he would have two left-arm seamers.
Since he wanted a left and right-hand bowling combination, he opted to pick Rabada over the Pakistan wicket-taking superstar. Additionally, the 37-year-old pointed out that Rabada “has that extra pace and extra bounce.”
“Shaheen Afridi I wouldn’t take because then there would be two left-arm pacers, so I’ll go for Rabada,” Dhawan was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan. “Rabada has that extra pace and extra bounce that is going to rush the batters.”
Afridi recently took six wickets in Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka at an average of 37.33.
He then proceeded to claim six wickets in three ODIs against Afghanistan at an average of 16.33.
Most recently, he featured in the Asia Cup and snapped up 10 wickets in five matches at an average of 23.50.
In the World Cup, Afridi has taken two wickets in total, with one each coming in Pakistan’s victories over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
The 23-year-old will be aiming to take a lot more wickets when Pakistan face off against India on October 14 in Ahmedabad.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali