Shaheen Afridi picks between his Kohli, Rohit dismissals in India Asia Cup tie | Cricket

India’s ill-fated tryst with left-arm seamers was once again on display against Pakistan in their 2023 Asia Cup opener as the ghost of Shaheen Shah Afridi haunted them yet again. The young fast bowler had wreaked havoc in their 2021 T20 World Cup meeting, memories of which left India to hire uncapped Indian left-arm pacer in Ankit Chaudhury as a net bowler during their six-day training camp for the continental event. But facing one of the most lethal modern-day white-ball bowlers, in the most high-octane clash, is a different challenge altogether. And the Indian top-order failed to crack the code yet again. (India vs Pakistan Live Score, Asia Cup)

Shaheen Afridi has his say on his dismissals of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

On Saturday, after opting to bat first, captain Rohit Sharma took India off to a promising start as they scored 15/0 in the first 26 balls before rain interrupted the proceedings at the Pallekele Stadium for the first time. On resuming, Shaheen changed his strategy as he looked to extract from the pitch as dismissed Rohit with a sharp nip-backer in the very third ball. An over later, he got the better of Kohli, for the second time in his international career, when the legendary batter chopped the outside-off delivery onto the stumps.

Shaheen, who eventually finished with a four-wicket haul following the wickets of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the death overs, was later asked to pick between the two prized wickets with the new ball after Pakistan folded India for 266 runs in 48.5 overs and the left-armer came up with a mic-drop remark.

“I think both (Virat and Rohit) were crucial wickets, every batter is the same for me. But I think I liked Rohit’s wicket better,” he said.

The two wickets helped Shaheen script a stellar piece of ODI record. He became the first bowler ever to dismiss Kohli and Rohit bowled in the same innings of an ODI match.

Shaheen eventually finished with 4 for 35, his third best bowling figure in an ODI match.

For India, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya were the pick of the batters. The wicketkeeper-batter, who played at No. 5 for the first time ever and managed to get a chance in the XI after KL Rahul was ruled out, scored 82 off 81 while Hardik pulled off 87 off 90. The pair stitched a record 138-run stand that singled-handedly revived India from 66 for four to 204 for five.

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