Shaheen Afridi’s performance at the 2023 World Cup has been far from impressive. The Pakistan fast bowler has struggled in the three matches he has played, managing to take just four wickets. This was particularly evident when he faced Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli during Pakistan’s seven-wicket loss to India.

In the match against India, Afridi conceded 36 runs as they chased down a target of 192 with ease. Many of the boundaries scored against him were due to his inability to maintain discipline in his bowling. Pakistan’s bowling legend, Waqar Younis, expressed concerns about Afridi’s performance and questioned his fitness.

Waqar stated, “I don’t know if there is a problem with his fitness. The missing link in his bowling is discipline, and he is overeager to take wickets. When you repeatedly do the same thing, as Shaheen does with his attempts at yorkers, batsmen become aware and prepared for it.”

Waqar pointed out the contrast with India’s fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, who maintained pressure by consistently hitting the top of the off-stump. Bumrah took two wickets and conceded just 19 runs, while Afridi ended with an economy rate of 6.00. Although Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, the damage was already done.

Waqar believes that the absence of Afridi’s regular new-ball partner, Naseem Shah, who was ruled out of the World Cup due to a shoulder injury, has impacted Afridi’s performance. Naseem is known for his ability to maintain pressure and restrict runs, which in turn leads batsmen to take more risks against other bowlers and lose their wickets.

Nonetheless, Waqar also emphasized that Pakistan’s bowling woes at the World Cup are not solely due to the absence of one bowler. He stated that the team’s bowling unit lacks discipline, which needs to be addressed. “I don’t think it’s because of missing just one bowler, but it’s because they are not keeping it simple,” he noted.

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