India’s struggle against left-arm seamers continued in the Asia Cup 2023 match against Pakistan on September 2nd at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele. The Indian top-order faced a tough challenge as Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf teamed up effectively, reducing them to 64/4 after 14.1 overs. India found themselves in a tough spot with a score of 66/4 after 14.1 overs.
Key batsmen Rohit Sharma (11 off 22), Virat Kohli (4 off 7), and Shubman Gill (10 off 32) were all bowled out while grappling with the swinging ball. Despite their underwhelming performances, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar defended these star batsmen, considering it a natural aspect of the game.
“I don’t think there’s any huge concern. You look at their records. Virat has scored more than 11000 runs, Rohit has scored more than 9000 runs, and Shubman Gill has shown shades of what he is capable of too. If even after big players like Virat and Rohit fail, we have a responsible No.5 and No.6 who can take us to 260-odd, we don’t need to worry. These things happen in cricket, there will be days where the bowlers are too good,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
Afridi once again troubled the Indian top order, first dismissing Rohit Sharma with an inswinger, followed by getting Kohli bowled as he poked at a delivery outside off stump. Afridi was Pakistan’s top bowler, claiming 4/35 in ten overs during the rain-affected match.
India has a well-documented history of struggling against left-arm seam bowlers
The renowned Indian batting pair of Kohli and Rohit has a significant history of struggling against left-arm seam bowlers on grand occasions. This includes encounters with Mitchell Johnson in the 2015 World Cup semi-final, Mohammed Amir in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, Trent Boult in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, and Shaheen Afridi in the T20 World Cup 2021.
These experienced players are the foundation of the Indian batting lineup, and their early dismissals have often resulted in India’s downfall in crucial knockout matches in recent years. Both batters are likely eager to address these weaknesses promptly, especially with the 2023 World Cup just one month away.