'I don't think his return was as good as Shami's' - Sanjay Bangar critiques Shaheen Afridi's new technique

'He is not yet fully confident of his position on the crease,' said Bangar.

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Mohammed Shami and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Mohammed Shami and Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar)

Although the Men in Blue haven’t officially started their T20 World Cup 2022 campaign, India made a strong impression with their performance against Australia on Monday in Brisbane, at The Gabba, in the warm-up game. The batting unit was headed by opener KL Rahul and middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav, and Mohammed Shami's spell in the ultimate over demonstrated India’s commitment to the contest.

India's campaign will begin against arch-rivals Pakistan, who didn't perform well against England in their first warm-up game. The Three Lions totally outperformed the Pakistani side in the 19-over match, wrecking the 161-run chase and finishing it with 26 balls remaining. But Pakistan was happy with the return of their ace pacer Shaheen Afridi.

With the ball, Shaheen Afridi, who is making his comeback from injury, was yet again precise, allowing just seven runs in the two overs that he delivered. But Sanjay Bangar, former India cricketer and batting coach, believes he is not having the same influence as he did prior to the injury. Comparing Afridi’s comeback to that of Mohammed Shami during a discussion on Star Sports, Bangar said:

"I don't think Afridi's return was as good as Shami's. The special thing was that he didn't bowl a single incoming delivery. All his deliveries were going away from the batters, which means it is clear that he is not yet fully confident of his position on the crease, the strong position he has."

The way he is releasing the ball, not good signs for Pakistan: Bangar

In his lengthy discussion on Shaheen's return, Bangar also drew attention to a small shift in the pacer's approach, which he says is not a great sign for Pakistan before a major competition like the World Cup.

"I also feel he has made a slight change in his technique. If he has made a change at this stage, especially the way he is releasing the ball, they are not good signs for Pakistan. The fact that the balls are not swinging into the right-handed batters will be a slight breath of relief for the Indian top-order batting," he added.

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