Afridi stated that the Pakistan opener would have to take risks and play shots through the off-side
The ICC T20 World Cup has reached the semifinal stage, and all eyes are on the big guns to deliver in the knockout round.
Suryakumar Yadav is the man of the moment for India, as the No.4 batter's ability to hit shots to all parts of the ground at a high strike rate has been a key differentiator for the team.
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Suryakumar has received praise from all quarters, including former Pakistan cricketers. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi offered some words of wisdom to Mohammad Rizwan, who has frequently faced criticism for his low strike rate, given that Pakistan is also in the semifinals and their openers are having trouble scoring runs in the competition.
During a local media channel discussion, the anchor told Afridi that a reporter once asked Rizwan if he was open to changing his playing style so that opposition bowlers couldn't devise plans against him. The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter replied that he would continue to play the way he does. After citing Suryakumar Yadav as an example, the anchor questioned whether Rizwan should follow the Indian's lead.
To this, Afridi responded, "The most important thing about Suryakumar is that he has played 200-250 matches in the domestic circuit before coming to international cricket. He knows his game. And he can target the good balls because he practices those shots. In this format, you need to evolve as a batter and develop your game."
Speaking of Rizwan and his struggles, Afridi stated that the Pakistan opener would have to take risks and play shots through the off-side, which he will need to practice.
"We have already discussed that every team does homework before coming to a World Cup. They've planned not to bowl him in the middle for Rizwan as he plays good shots towards deep square-leg and midwicket. He struggles towards the off-side.
"He will have to come down the track and take risks. He will have to make gaps towards mid-off and extra-cover, and for this, he will have to practice these strokes," Afridi said.
A reminder is that Pakistan will play the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup against New Zealand on November 09, 2022, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).