Gautam Gambhir criticized Virat Kohli for his uncertainty while facing Shaheen Shah Afridi in the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match in Pallekele. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both got bowled by Pakistan’s fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in the same ODI.
However, their dismissals were quite different. Rohit faced what can be called an almost impossible delivery from Shaheen, particularly when you look at the two prior deliveries that moved away and missed his bat. In contrast, Kohli’s dismissal was due to his cautious footwork and poor shot choice.
Waqar Younis and Matthew Hayden praised Shaheen’s delivery to Rohit as exceptional and suggested that Kohli had some bad luck with an inside edge hitting the stumps.
However, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir disagreed with this perspective. He criticized Kohli for his lack of decisiveness when facing Shaheen Afridi.
“That was a nothing shot, neither forward, neither back. I think was a bit casual. That’s what you get when you play someone like Shaheen Afridi. You don’t know whether to go forward or back,” Gambhir said in commentary on Star Sports.
Pakistan legend Waqar was not so harsh. “Kohli was a touch unlucky. Inside edge, the ball didn’t come on to bat and maybe even kept a bit low. But credit to Shaheen Shah Afridi for altering his length,” he said.
Hayden agreed: “Yeah, inside edge onto the stumps, could have got anywhere,” he said.
Gambhir slams Kohli for his ‘careless’ shot vs. Shaheen in IND vs. PAK Asia Cup game
This incident unfolded in the third delivery of the 7th over during India’s innings. Shaheen had just dismissed India’s captain, Rohit, with an exceptional delivery after a brief rain interruption.
The left-arm pacer charged in, generated bounce, and moved the ball away from Kohli. The former India captain attempted to guide it towards third man but ended up with a thick inside edge that hit the stumps.
Normally, Kohli executes this shot successfully 9 times out of 10, but this occasion was an exception for several reasons. Firstly, it was too early in the innings to try such a shot, with only six balls faced.
Additionally, the pitch had already shown signs of inconsistency, with uneven bounce, as early as the second over of the match. Lastly, Kohli didn’t position himself properly to cover the line of the ball with a significant stride.
Despite initially getting off the mark with an impressive cover drive against Naseem Shah, Kohli was dismissed after scoring just 4 runs. Shaheen and Haris Rauf took two wickets each, putting India in a tough position.
But thanks to a record fifth-wicket partnership by Ishan Kishan (82) and Hardik Pandya (87), India reached a total of 266 runs. Shaheen took 4 wickets, and Haris and Naseem claimed three wickets each.