Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Can left-arm pacer Farooqi trouble Rohit again?

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That India skipper Rohit Sharma doesn’t quite enjoy facing left-arm pace bowling is a well-known fact. The ball angling across his chest tends to trouble the swashbuckling batter, who thrives on playing big shots early in the innings.

In the recent Indian Premier Leagues, Rohit was dismissed by pacers on seven occasions in 14 innings (he remained not out once). Among these seven dismissals, five times the culprits were left-arm pacers. Rajasthan Royals’s New Zealand pacer Trent Boult got Rohit out twice while England’s Sam Curran (Punjab Kings), Mohsin Khan (Lucknow Supergiants) and Khaleel Ahmed (Delhi Capitals) all dismissed him once.

Also Read: ‘Firstly, bat first’: Patwal

In his latest outing at the ongoing T20 World Cup, Rohit fell to USA’s left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar, who foxed him with a slower delivery.

Next up, India face Afghanistan in the Super 8 stage on Thursday and their in-form left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi, 23, will be licking his lips at the prospect of having a go at the India captain again. The last time Farooqui faced Rohit was in the second ODI at Indore in January this year, where the pace ace dismissed the India opener for a duck. Attempting a big shot in the very first over of the innings, Rohit backed away from his stumps, but was beaten by an angling delivery that crashed into the top of his off stump.

Afghanistan`s left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi. PIC/GETTY IMAGES

Farooqi has been in sizzling form at this T20 World Cup. In their opening game, he claimed an amazing 5-9 as Uganda were dismissed for just 58, leading to a 125-run win for the Afghans. Next up, Farooqi picked up 4-17 as Afghanistan inflicted a shocking 84-run defeat on New Zealand, who were bowled out for just 75. Thereafter, Farooqi bagged 3-16 as the Afghans bowled out Uganda for 95 in a seven-wicket victory. Farooqi’s latest outing however, against the West Indies on Monday (June 17), finished wicketless, as Afghanistan lost by 104 runs.

It will be interesting to see if Afghanistan’s young left-arm pacer can get the better of the Indian batters—Rohit Sharma in particular—or if the India skipper can avenge his duck this time around.


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