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Waqar Younis tells Shaheen Afridi to copy Bumrah World Cup blueprint

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Pakistan legend Waqar Younis on Monday advised misfiring strike bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi to learn from India seamer Jasprit Bumrah if he wants to make an impact at the ICC World Cup 2023.

Shaheen Afridi is struggling with his pace and fitness and has been unimpressive in all three games at the ICC World Cup 2023 where his four wickets have come at a cost of 139 runs.

“I don’t know if there is a problem with his fitness,” Waqar, who is in India as a commentator, told AFP.

“The missing link in his bowling is discipline and he is over trying to get wickets.

“When you do the same thing again and again, like Shaheen is bowling to get his yorker going, then batsmen know that and they are ready for it.”

Waqar Younis suggested Shaheen Afridi should follow the example set by Bumrah who he described as a “top bowler.”

The Indian spearhead is the joint top wicket-taker in the ICC World Cup 2023 with eight wickets at just 11.52.

New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner and fast bowler Matt Henry also have eight victims each.

India thumped Pakistan by seven wickets in Ahmedabad on Saturday, with Shaheen unable to help Pakistan defend a meagre 192-run target.

In contrast, Bumrah dismissed Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan with two well-executed deliveries to finish with 2-19 in seven overs.

“Bumrah is creating pressure and his line is top of the off stump. He bowled so well against Pakistan and created pressure to get wickets,” said Waqar.

Shaheen, 23, has been leading Pakistan’s new-ball attack since taking 16 wickets in five World Cup games in the United Kingdom four years ago.

He has been likened to former great Wasim Akram who with 414 Test and 502 ODI wickets was regarded as one of the best left-arm pacers to have played cricket.

But former India allrounder Ravi Shastri blasted the comparison during the Pakistan-India match, saying: “Shaheen is no Wasim Akram”, claiming that the Pakistan star is “not special.”

Waqar believes that the absence of regular new-ball partner Naseem Shah — ruled out of the ICC World Cup 2023 with a shoulder injury — may have had a detrimental effect on Shaheen’s performances so far.

“Naseem is a good bowler and doesn’t give many runs away,” said Waqar of the 20-year-old.

“When Naseem creates pressure, batsmen take chances with other bowlers and they get wickets.”

Waqar Younis said Pakistan’s bowling was “lacking discipline” at the World Cup where three games have yielded two wins and one loss.

“I don’t think it’s because of missing just one bowler, but it’s because they are not keeping it simple.”

Pakistan, who beat the Netherlands and Sri Lanka before losing to India, next face Australia in Bengaluru on Friday.

READ: Zampa spins web to help Australia book Sri Lanka at 209

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