How to break Shaheen Afridi’s code of deception?
Indian team has been studiously preparing to counter Shaheen Afridi’s wicked swing and vicious speed. At the nets the team’s left-handed throwdown specialist has been attempting to simulate Shaheen’s surgical strikes – bowl in the high 140 kph, curl the ball late and be dead accurate. Between balls, the batsmen would be seen poring over their videos that the computer analyst has recorded. Till they face the real Shaheen on match day, these clips are expected to be played in slow-motion countless times. But will it help? Shaheen’s game plan is no state secret. He doesn’t keep his rivals guessing by talking about some doosra he has been working on. He doesn’t need to. His world-renowned pehla – the super-sonic ball that suddenly snakes into a right-hander – is enough to give him the ‘most dreaded’ tag. It’s not that there is no antidote for these venomous Shaheen strikes. Ask any coach and he would be quick to give a theoretical solution of countering the balls swinging in late. They would talk about opening the stance, find fault with the front leg coming too far across, ask for the elbow to point towards mid-on, get the head straight, play in front of the wicket and allow the ball to come to you rather than reaching for it