In an unexpected turn of events, legendary Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his displeasure with Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, during the Super 4 game between longtime rivals India and Pakistan in the 2023 Asia Cup. In response to a fantastic opening stand between Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who amassed an amazing 121-run stand, Akhtar criticised Azam’s choice to field first after winning the toss.
The Controversial Decision
Rohit and Gill constantly attacked the Pakistani bowling attack, making Babar Azam’s decision to give India the opportunity to bat a mistake. Rohit Sharma left the game after making a solid 56 runs, and Shubman Gill did the same with a quick 58. Rain stopped play at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo just as the Indian team was about to score a big total, ending the game early with India at 147/2 after 24.1 overs.
Akhtar’s Candid Opinion
Known for his unfiltered opinions, Shoaib Akhtar expressed his dismay on social media, writing, “Well, I don’t see this starting again. Alongside a video of himself indirectly criticising Babar Azam’s choice to not bowl first, he wrote “Colombo ki baarish is crazy.” He made a lighthearted remark about Colombo’s fickle weather and expressed doubt that the match would resume soon.
A Glimmer of Hope on the Reserve Day
Shoaib Akhtar offered his prediction for the Super 4 match between India and Pakistan, expressing worries about the match continuing on Sunday despite having a reserve day set. However, he hoped that Babar Azam would adopt a different approach if the game did in fact continue on the next day, highlighting the significance of making an informed choice over whether to bat or bowl first.
The Road Ahead
India scored a total of 147/2 in 24.1 overs due to the outstanding efforts of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill before the rain stopped play. The match would resume from the same spot on the reserve day if it couldn’t on Sunday in accordance with tournament rules. However, if a 20-overs-per-side game could be played, umpires would prefer to do so over delaying it till the reserve day.
Shoaib Akhtar’s honest observations serve as a reminder of the unpredictability and excitement that characterise cricket’s most storied rivalry as cricket fans excitedly await the beginning of this high-intensity match between India and Pakistan. Now that the reserve day has here, all eyes will be on Pakistan to see if they can stage a comeback and change the course of this exciting Asia Cup.