The Pakistan pace trio of Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Shah Afridi are getting praise from every corner. After a huge victory over Bangladesh by 7 wickets, the Pakistan cricket team has taken all 30 wickets in the three matches they have played together in the Asia Cup 2023.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf make up one of Pakistan’s top fast-bowling teams. The Pakistan pace trio has combined for 23 wickets in the first three games of the Asia Cup. The Asia Cup 2023 is being co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It serves as a warm-up for the World Cup in India later this month.
In the meantime, Pakistan made their team announcement for the big game against arch-rivals India. By keeping the same lineup from their seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh in the Super Four opener.
Shoaib Akhtar endorses new Pakistan pace trio
Shoaib Akhtar, once Pakistan’s great pace bowler, has also endorsed the trio. In an online chat hosted by Star Sports, Akhtar said, “These young boys are very, very talented. I am happy that Pakistan can produce such fast bowlers time and time again.”
This pace battery reminds me of the old days … of the era of the two Ws (Waqar and Wasim). They have an attitude of taking wickets and are highly confident.”
I’m not sure why is it so. Initially, Punjab used to give a huge number of pace bowlers. One is currently from Rawalpindi, while the other two are Pathans. He told Star Sports that the Pathans are “extremely tough and rugged.”
Together, Wasim and Waqar took over 900 ODI wickets, terrifying the batsmen with their lightning-quick reverse swing deliveries. Shaheen leads the charge with Naseem on new balls, but first-change Rauf leads the Asia Cup wicket-taking list with nine dismissals.
“In my opinion, Shaheen Shah Afridi is currently in the prime of his career. Akhtar, who later joined Pakistan’s pace attack alongside Wasim and Waqar, said that Haris Rauf “has a wicket-taking mindset like Shaheen.”
“Naseem should bowl more wicket-taking balls instead of being a stock bowler. Shaheen can’t penetrate the ball as well as Naseem, but he seems it better.
Mohammad Wasim, who didn’t play on Tuesday, has 24 wickets in 14 games while Shaheen has 27 wickets in 15 ODIs. Naseem has played in just nine ODIs, but he already has two five-wicket hauls and a great 14.9 ODI average.
With the Asia Cup and World Cup coming up in the next two months, the bowling attack will be fired up after the big show in the Asia Cup 2023 so far.
What exactly makes Pakistan pace trio terrifying?
In the current Asia Cup, Pakistan has so far played very well. While India’s high-profile match against Nepal was postponed due to rain, the Men in Green beat Nepal by 238 runs in the group round.
By crushing Bangladesh by seven wickets in the opening match of the Super-4 round, the Babar Azam-led team moved one step closer to the finals.
Pakistan’s fast bowlers’ efforts have been largely responsible for their win in the continental event. Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi have all caused trouble for the opposition batters they have faced thus far with their pace trio.
Shaheen and Naseem both have seven wickets each, while Rauf currently leads the event with nine total wickets.
On the eve of the Super-4 match between India and Pakistan, India’s opening batsman Shubman Gill praised the talent of the Pakistani pacers and said that not meeting them frequently makes it challenging in big matches.
“Unlike some other teams, Pakistan is not a team we play as frequently. We are all aware of their strong bowling attack. So it does make a difference in major tournaments when you don’t play against them much, as per Gill.
India only gets to play Pakistan during the Asia Cup or at ICC competitions since bilateral cricket relations between the two nations have been put on hold due to political issues.
With the victory, Pakistan has had a solid start to a busy season. But more importantly, with the World Cup quickly coming, their pace attack is looking well.
Pakistan’s pacers have excelled in ODIs with the ball since 2021. With 43 wickets in 21 games at an average of 24.02, Rauf is in the lead. The other players’ statistics are just as amazing even if they haven’t played as many ODIs as Rauf.