Bumrah vs Shaheen Afridi: Who is better? Former Pakistan captain gives his verdict

Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 22-year-old Pakistani left-arm pacer, is already among the best fast bowlers in the world

By Team KT

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Battle of pacers: Jasprit Bumrah (left) and Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Agencies)
Battle of pacers: Jasprit Bumrah (left) and Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Agencies)

Published: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 6:31 PM

Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah’s stunning spell against England in the first one-day international prompted Nasser Hussain to call him cricket’s best all-format bowler.

Bumrah’s 6-19 secured India’s 10-wicket win against England on Tuesday.

Bumrah’s career-best figures helped India skittle out reigning world champions England at the Oval for 110 inside 26 overs, a target the tourists reached in 18.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Bumrah would have to be the best all-format bowler in world cricket. Who would be the challengers? Maybe Trent Boult, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Jofra Archer when fit. But right now, he is the best there is,” Hussain wrote in his Sky Sports column.

But former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes his compatriot Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 22-year-old left-arm pacer, is an even better bowler than the 28-year-old Bumrah because of his extra pace.

It was Shaheen's magical spell (3-31) that destroyed the Indian top order when Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets in their T20 World Cup clash last year.

"Shaheen hasn't played as much cricket but he is among the very best. He is no less than him (Bumrah). In fact, Shaheen with experience, will only get better and then he has more pace and offers a different angle," Butt said on his YouTube channel.

"See, both are world cricket's finest and watching them bowl is an exciting experience. It's great fun to watch both Bumrah and Shaheen perform, and the way they bowl with the new ball it feels as if a wicket can go down anytime. You don't get this feeling watching any other bowler."

Bumrah is the more experienced bowler on the international stage, 128 Test wickets (at 21.99), 119 ODI wickets (at 24.30) and 69 T20 International wickets (at 19.46) since making his India debut in 2016.

Shaheen, on the other hand, has taken 95 Test wickets (at 25.08), 62 ODI wickets (23.87) and 47 T20 International wickets (at 24.31) since making his international debut in 2018.

Butt also said Shaheen would get better and better in the coming years.

"For a 20-year-old bowler to perform in the manner that he has is not easy. Both are outstanding. Obviously, Bumrah has played a lot more and is a brilliant performer so at the moment, there shouldn't be any comparison. One has played a lot, the other not so much," he said. (with inputs from Reuters)

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