Shaheen Shah Afridi is in the middle of a pink patch in his career. At only 21 years of age, he’s made a name for himself across formats and been recognized as the best male cricketer of 2021 by the ICC.
His match-winning spell against India in Dubai helped Pakistan beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup encounter for the first time in 13 attempts, and now the left-arm pacer is at the helm for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, becoming their youngest ever captain.
Shaheen Shah Afridi On India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match: The Players Had Belief In Each Other
In the very first over of the 2021 T20I World Cup India-Pakistan match, the left arm pacer trapped Rohit Sharma with an inswinging yorker as Rohit Sharma couldn’t bring his bat down in time and was dismissed for a golden duck. In the next over, he castled KL Rahul with a gem of an inswinger when the right-hander played all over it as it sneaked through the gap between bat and pads to shatter his off stump.
He didn’t stop there as he picked the wicket of Virat Kohli as well in his last spell. The 21-year old deceived him with a slower bouncer as he attempted a pull shot but only managed to top edge to the wicketkeeper.
“Most players were playing for the first time against India in a T20 World Cup, except Hafeez bhai and Shoaib bhai. And for us, it was an opportunity. The kind of cricket we played, we were very prepared and we had belief in each other. The captain’s role is crucial and he backed me and the team a lot.”
This terrific spell of Shaheen Afridi (3/31) restricted India to 151/7 in 20 overs.
Shaheen Shah Afridi : It Was Good Fortune That Pakistan Ended Up On The Right Side In The 2021 T20I World Cup Match Against India
In response, Pakistan chased down it comfortably as captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scripted a historic 10-wicket win. Babar Azam scored 68 runs in 52 balls while Mohammad Rizwan played even better with a knock of 55-ball 79 runs.
“The dressing room environment was quite friendly. There was a sense that if Shaheen can’t, then Hasan Ali will… and if Hasan Ali can’t, then Haris Rauf will. We had to play our best cricket and make people happy back home. And it was good fortune that we ended up on the right side.”, Shaheen Shah Afridi said on discussion on India-Pakistan T20I World Cup 2021 Match.
This was the first-ever victory for Pakistan against India in ODI or T20 World Cup. Pakistan won all 5 group games in the tournament though they lost the semifinal against the eventual champions Australia. Shaheen Shah Afridi also won the award of ICC Men’s Cricketer of The Year for his terrific performance in the year 2021. The left-arm pacer picked 78 wickets across formats last year.
The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.
The left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi broke the back of Indian batting with 3 key wickets in form of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli as he was adjudged ‘Player of The Match’ in the historic win against arch-rivals.