Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: Shubham Gill gives 'world class' verdict on Babar Azam; talks about pacers' threat
As the much-anticipated India vs Pakistan clash in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match approaches, Indian opener Shubman Gill hails Pakistan's star batter and their pace attack.
As India and Pakistan gear up for their Super 4 encounter in the Asia Cup 2023, India's opener, Shubman Gill, has hailed Pakistan's star batsman, Babar Azam, as a "world-class player." Gill noted that the Indian team also holds great admiration for him. Babar Azam has had a successful tournament so far, showcasing his skills in two innings across three matches, amassing 168 runs at an average of 84.
Shubman Gill on the threat posed by Pakistan's quicks
"They are very different fast bowlers and they have their own specialities. Shaheen gets the ball to swing a lot. Naseem is all about pace and likes help from the wicket. They present different challenges in different conditions.
In response to a journalist's query regarding whether Indian players closely monitor the performance of Pakistan's batsmen, including Babar Azam, Gill remarked, "Yes, definitely we follow him. When a player is performing exceptionally well, everyone watches to understand why they are excelling and what makes them special. The same applies to Babar; he is indeed a world-class player, and we all admire him."
India and Pakistan had previously faced off in the tournament, with the match taking place on September 2nd in Pallekele. Regrettably, the game was ultimately abandoned due to rain. In that match, India was bowled out for 266 runs, with Shaheen Afridi claiming four wickets. Despite notable fifties from Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82), Pakistan was unable to commence their chase due to rain.
Discussing India's strategy for the upcoming match against their arch-rivals, Gill stated, "Our approach will remain consistent: establish a solid foundation and then assert dominance. In the previous game against Pakistan, our top order faced difficulties, but we still managed to score around 260 runs. We appeared on track to reach 310-320 runs on such a pitch at some point. These are encouraging signs."
As the Indian team faces Pakistan in the eagerly anticipated Super 4 match, the team management will confront the dilemma of choosing between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan.
Meanwhile, Babar Azam finds a different kind of home advantage for his team
"We have spent two-and-a-half months in Sri Lanka including the Test series, LPL, Afghanistan series, and now the Asia Cup. So you could say we have a slight edge over India because of that." said the Pakistan captain
Stats and trivia
-Babar is one hundred away from drawing level with Saeed Anwar as Pakistan's most prolific ODI centurion
-Ravindra Jadeja is three strikes away from 200 ODI wickets. He will become the third Indian spinner to the landmark after Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
-On Wednesday, Rauf reached 50 ODI wickets in his 27th ODI. Among Pakistanis, only Hasan Ali (24) and Afridi (25) have been quicker than Rauf to the milestone.