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Champions Trophy 2017: Afridi Heaps Praise On Kohli, Terms India Favorites To Beat Pakistan

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The 37-year-old also praised Indian captain Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah.


Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi believes Virat Kohli’s men hold an edge against his country ahead of the mega clash in the Champions Trophy on Sunday. Afridi feels recent history and the depth of India’s squad are two factors that favor the defending champions against Sarfraz Ahmed’s team. “Recent history and the depth of the India squad gives India a slight edge heading into the game,” Afridi wrote in a column for the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The 37-year-old also praised Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

“Kohli’s credentials as a top-order batsman are known to all and he has played some memorable innings in the ODI format.

“I have vivid memories of his sublime century against us in the 2012 Asia Cup, while he was at his absolute best in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 clash at Adelaide, laying the foundation of an Indian win with a masterful hundred.”

The leg-spinner believes Pakistan’s famed bowling attack will have to be on top of their game to dismiss Kohli early.

“For me, bowling to Kohli was always a challenge and Pakistani bowlers would have to be on top of their game against him.

“They must try and attack, especially when he is new at the crease. If Pakistan dismisses Kohli cheaply, it will significantly increase its chances of restricting India to a low score,” said Afridi.

Bumrah, who has grown in stature as a death overs specialist, has impressed Afridi.

“I am hugely impressed by the skillset and temperament of young Jasprit Bumrah. He bowls what I call the ‘Pakistani Yorker’ almost at will. He reminds us of our pacers of yore who had mastered the skill of bowling the perfect yorker, especially during the 90s,” added Afridi.

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