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The Shaheen Afridi Threat Looms Large As India-Pakistan Clash In Dubai On Aug 28

In less than 10 days’ time, India will lock horns with Pakistan in its Asia Cup Twenty20 lung-opener in Dubai on August 28. Flashes of last October’s deadly exploits by left arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi against the arch-rival in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup come to mind; on that occasion the crafty Afridi outwitted India’s openers Rohit Sharma, trapped leg before and KL Rahul, clean bowled. The two peach of deliveries from Afridi sounded the death knell for India in the global event. Virat Kohli dug in his heels to make a stoical 57 in 97 minutes, but Pakistan made short work of India’s 151, winning by 10 wickets. India and Pakistan have not clashed again for 10 months, but Afridi, the master of swing and cut from bowling over the wicket, would like to hoodwink Sharma and Co. India would need a bit of luck to see through the new ball menace. Sharma has taken over from Kohli as captain, and it has to be seen whether a left-right combination will be tried to neutralise the probing opening burst by Afridi. Pant has opened in Twenty20 internationals just twice and hence it’s unlikely his batting order would be relocated to the top. He made a useful 39 at No 5 against Pakistan in the ICC event last year. But after a long gap, the Afridi threat looms large!