Mohammad Rizwan, the accomplished wicket-keeper batsman from Pakistan, has responded to the viral trend of “India can’t play Shaheen” in anticipation of the highly anticipated Super 4 round clash in the 2023 Asia Cup, pitting India against Pakistan in Colombo this Sunday.

Pakistan’s pace attack, led by the dynamic Shaheen Afridi, has been a standout feature of the 2023 Asia Cup, consistently dismantling their opponents. The leading wicket-taker in the tournament thus far is Haris Rauf with an impressive tally of 9 wickets, closely followed by Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah, both of whom have claimed 7 wickets each.

In the previous encounter between India and Pakistan in Pallekele, Shaheen Afridi made headlines by taking four crucial wickets, including those of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. Rauf, too, displayed his prowess with a four-wicket haul against Bangladesh on a flat pitch in Lahore, while Naseem Shah has shown his mettle during the challenging death overs.

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The resurgence of the “They can’t play him” trend on social media after Shaheen Afridi’s stellar performance against India saw prominent figures like former Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former fast bowler Wahab Riaz joining in the banter, playfully trolling the Indian batsmen.

Addressing this trend on the eve of the Colombo clash, Mohammad Rizwan emphasized that it’s not just Indian batters who might find it challenging to face the formidable trio of Shaheen, Rauf, and Naseem. He lauded Pakistan’s fast bowlers for their pivotal role in securing the No. 1 spot and acknowledged their natural talent. Rizwan also praised the depth of Pakistan’s bench, a key factor contributing to their rise in the rankings.

In the rain-affected match in Pallekele, Pakistan’s batting lineup didn’t have a chance to face the Indian bowlers as the game was washed out following India’s innings. Rizwan disclosed that Pakistan’s batsmen have formulated strategies to counter the Indian bowling attack.

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While acknowledging the quality of India’s bowling unit, Rizwan expressed confidence in Pakistan’s preparedness to face this challenge as professionals, asserting that they are ready with solutions when India’s bowlers take the field.