The cricketing world is holding its breath in anticipation of the highly awaited clash between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023. This significant match, taking place in Sri Lanka, is attracting intense attention, especially regarding the performances of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, both of whom are gearing up for the Cricket World Cup. The outcomes in the Asia Cup will serve as a crucial gauge of the players’ form leading into the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Brad Hogg, the former Australian leg spinner and a Cricket World Cup winner, has voiced his belief that the outcome of the marquee India vs Pakistan contest will hinge on the showdown between Shaheen Shah Afridi and India’s top-order batsmen.
The opening match of the tournament will see India facing Pakistan on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. Hogg expressed his anticipation for this star-studded clash, emphasizing that the outcome might pivot on the performance of India’s seasoned batsmen against Pakistan’s formidable fast-bowling prowess.
“I will certainly be tuned in to watch it. This rivalry is one of the most anticipated contests in the cricketing world. While politics often intrudes upon sports, be it in Australia, England, or anywhere else, the cricket field has been missing this rivalry between the two nations. This clash is also beneficial for Pakistan as it offers them exposure. Such contests are highly desirable. India possesses a commanding batting lineup, whereas Pakistan’s strength lies in their pace attack, particularly with the skillful left-arm bowler Shaheen Afridi. His ability to swing the ball with pace and make it move inwards against right-handed batsmen makes him a formidable challenge,” stated Hogg during an interview on “Backstage with Boria.”
When asked about the potential battle between Shaheen Shah Afridi and Rohit Sharma, Hogg shared his insight, stating, “I believe Shaheen stands a chance with deliveries that move in, especially against right-handed batsmen. If Pakistan manages to dismiss Virat Kohli early in the contest with the new ball, particularly with Shaheen Afridi in the mix, it could prove pivotal. The contest between Shaheen and India’s top three batsmen will likely shape the outcome. Thus, in my opinion, this is the critical aspect that will determine the victor between India and Pakistan.”