“It seemed like Shadab Khan was bowling to Rohit Sharma’s reputation”


Aakash Chopra feels Rohit Sharma’s reputation made Shadab Khan bowl poorly to him in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash between India and Pakistan.

Rohit scored 56 runs off 49 deliveries in India’s total of 147/2 in 24.1 overs at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. With rain bringing a premature end to the proceedings, the match is supposed to be continued from the same position on Monday, the reserve day.

While reviewing the day’s play in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra pointed out that Rohit took full advantage of Shadab‘s ordinary bowling. He elaborated:

“Rohit was waiting for spin, that he will demolish it once it comes. It’s not that he didn’t hit the fast bowlers but after that, the way he hit Shadab Khan, fours and sixes one after the other.”

The former Indian opener added:

“He hit sixes off both short balls and a full toss. At one stage, it seemed like Shadab Khan was bowling to Rohit Sharma’s reputation and not to Rohit. He wasn’t able to release the ball properly. He was looking very ordinary.”


However, Chopra acknowledged that the hunter became the hunted as the Indian skipper eventually holed out in the deep off the leg-spinner’s bowling after having smoked him for three sixes and two fours in his first two overs.

“It was an announcement that the match will be different” – Aakash Chopra on Rohit Sharma’s first-over six

Rohit Sharma flicked Shaheen Shah Afridi for a six over long leg. [P/C: AP]
Rohit Sharma flicked Shaheen Shah Afridi for a six over long leg. [P/C: AP]

Reflecting on the start of the Indian innings, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Rohit Sharma‘s six to finish the first over from Shaheen Shah Afridi was a sign of things to follow. He stated:

“Rohit Sharma hit a six off the last ball of the first over. It was a beautiful pick-up shot. It was an announcement that the match would be different because the pitch was also looking different. This pitch did not have that much help.”

While observing that the pitch didn’t have much assistance for the seamers, the cricketer-turned-commentator praised Naseem Shah for bowling a testing spell. He said:

“There was a little swing in the air but off the surface, there was hardly anything when compared to Pallekele. Naseem Shah was breathing fire, he was brilliant on a flat pitch. If luck had favored him a little, he might have picked up three or four wickets in that same spell but that didn’t happen.”

Naseem beat the Indian batters, Rohit in particular, all ends up on multiple occasions. While runs were flowing from the other end, he conceded just six runs in his first three overs, with Shubman Gill also getting two lives off his bowling.

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Edited by Sai Krishna

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