Umar Gul identifies key factors affecting Shaheen Afridi in death overs

Ever since Shaheen made his comeback in international cricket, it seems like he isn't able to follow his own grim shadow at death

Umar Gul identifies key factors affecting Shaheen Afridi in death overs PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan left-arm pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi, has not been as much effective in death overs lately. Quite a few times, he has been proven to be expensive in the latter overs of the game, which has raised concerns.

Umar Gul, while talking to Cricket Pakistan, stated that there could be different factors behind this lag, but Shaheen is certainly working on improvising in this particular facet of the game.

"There are two reasons behind this. One is that he's been playing T20Is consistently for a very long time now. Secondly, in only four overs, there are relatively reduced chances for the ball to be reversed in the latter overs. The way he handles the new ball and efficiently picks up wickets augments the team's hopes for him. He builds the foundation that helps other bowlers as well. But yes, he needs to work hard in the death overs and increase his focus in that area. There is always room for improvement, so he should work on delivering equally good spells with the old ball as he does with the new ball," Gul said.

The 40-year-old reinstated that Shaheen's injury might be a causative factor; however, he is working to be equally good in the beginning as well as at death overs.

"Shaheen also made a comeback after injury and played this series against New Zealand, so that can be a factor too. I hope he remains fit for the Asia Cup because he is our main bowler. I had a discussion with him regarding this concern, and he does realize that his focus should be working both on the new and old ball. The concern is valid; he must be working on his death over capacity,' he further added.

Gul recently served as Pakistan’s interim bowling coach for Afghanistan and New Zealand series due to the unavailability of Morne Morkel, who was occupied with IPL duties.

Speculations are that Gul will be replaced sooner or later with former South African cricketer, under Pakistan team director, Mickey Arthur's revised coaching setup.