Sana Mir: Shaheen’s absence will make a difference and it may favor India
While Pakistan will miss the absence of Shaheen Afridi, the event itself will miss the glorious run-up of the left-arm pacer as he is one of the premium pacers of the current generation.
A mini event before the T20 World Cup is set to kick off on August 27 in hot and humid weather in UAE with the Asian cricket giants putting on their display prowess in the six-team event.
All the headlines are on Pakistan and India before the start of the Asia Cup and all eyes are on them as they are going to face each other as arch-rivals, probably at least three times in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan and India are in the same group with Hong Kong as a qualifier. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are placed in the second group.
The top two teams from each group will come at Super fours where again top two teams will play for the Asia Cup title.
The event starts with Afghanistan playing against Sri Lanka with the spin versus spin duel on the display, while the first blockbuster of the Asia Cup is scheduled on Sunday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
“It is difficult to predict anything in the T20 format. I believe Pakistan and India are favorites, but I will be really interested to see what Sri Lanka can do. Afghanistan has a potent spin attack, but Pakistan and India are clear pre-tournament favorites,”said former Pakistan women’s team skipper Sana Mir when asked who she thinks can win the 2022 Asia Cup.
“We can’t take Bangladesh lightly too because they have a good track record in the Asia Cup.”
One of the biggest news that came just before the Asia Cup was the injury of the left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi, the chief destructor of the Indian top order during Babar Azam and co’s 10-wicket victory over India at last year’s T20 World Cup.
While Pakistan will miss the absence of Afridi, the event itself will lack the shine as the premium pacer will not be part of the event.
“Shaheen’s absence will make a difference. India has always been vulnerable to left-arm pacers. We couldn’t even replace Shaheen with a left-arm seamer. Pakistani left-armers have always given Indian batting a tough time be it Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, or Shaheen,”said Sana on the topic.
“Shaheen will be the one important factor which is missing in Pakistan’s bowling attack, and favor of India.
“But hopefully, I am proven wrong by the Pakistani right-arm seamers,”Sana added optimistically.
When asked about Pakistan’s strength during Asia Cup, Sana did not choose bowling or batting instead he chose the all-rounders. She also feels the perfect balance of the Pakistan squad that makes them dangerous in the event.
“In the recent past, Pakistan’s batting has been its strength. With Shaheen missing, bowling seems a little weak. However, Pakistan’s overall team is balanced this time,”explained Sana.