‘Unique bowlers require unique plans’ - Matthew Hayden breaksdown India’s game plan ahead of Pakistan clash

Hayden stated that team India will need to bring about different game plans in order to counter the lethal bowling attack of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah.

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Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden dissected India’s game plan to counter Pakistan's pace bowling attack ahead of their Asia Cup opener. The arch-rivals will square off at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Saturday, September 2.

Ahead of the clash against Pakistan, Hayden stated that India will need to bring about different game plans to counter the lethal bowling attack of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah. Hayden further recalled Shaheen’s spell in the 2022 T20 World Cup and what skipper Rohit Sharma will need to do to counter the pacer’s attack. 

"India is playing against Pakistan’s pace trio. Well, I can tell you this is one of the spiciest competitions on the planet. We’ve got Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem. Three very different types of bowlers and unique bowlers which require unique plans from Team India. Firstly, the conditions here in Kandy tend to have quite a lot of bounce, so you’ve got to watch that out, especially Haris Rauf. He’ll want to really hustle in and hit the top of off stump,” told Hayden on Star Sports.

“You’ve got to be conservative against Shaheen Afridi. Remember back to the World Cup more recently; Shaheen was able to take early wickets. We’ll never forget that ball that he bowled to captain Rohit Sharma, so a little bit of caution against Shaheen Afridi. If it's swinging, look to play out those first three overs,” he added.

I think it’s going to be India that’s going to win: Matthew Hayden

Hayden further added that Rohit and Co. will need to play aggressively to put Naseem on the backfoot. In addition to this, Hayden backed the Men in Blue to clinch the two points against Pakistan as he cited the side having a deep batting line-up coupled with players who are in form.

“I think with Naseem, even though he will shape the ball, Pakistan can be in a position to advance forward with India managing to take them out of play by aggressive plays against someone like Naseem. Put him under pressure, feel like you are in front of the game. All in all, though, I think it’s going to be Team India that’s going to win. I think they’ve got a deeper, classier batting line-up, and I think they’ve got form on the board as well,” he elaborated.

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