Musheer Khan could go ahead of elder brother Sarfaraz: Aakash Chopra

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New Delhi: Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said that India’s U19 sensation Musheer Khan could outshine his elder brother and domestic cricket star, Sarfaraz Khan. In India’s run to the U19 World Cup finals, Musheer’s performance was one of the high points for the young Indian side. In seven innings, Musheer scored 360 runs at an average of 60.00, with two centuries and a fifty. His best score was 131. He is the only Indian, besides Shikhar Dhawan, to score two or more hundreds in a single U19 World Cup tournament.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra predicted a bright future for Musheer, saying that he has got a “gift of timing”. “I liked Musheer a lot. When their careers finish in the end, the younger brother might go ahead of the elder one. The good thing about him (Musheer) is that he has got the gift of timing,” said Aakash.

Aakash said that Musheer can play spin really well and can play some unconventional shots too. “He plays very well on his legs and plays well straight too. Whenever the ball is in that range, he plays extremely well. The kid plays spin very well and plays some good unconventional shots too,” the former India opener added.

In 14 Youth ODIs for India, Musheer has scored 554 runs at an average of 61.55 and a strike rate of over 91. He has got two tons and two fifties in 13 innings. His best score is 131. A useful left-arm spinner, he also has 13 wickets, with the best figures of 5/38.

However, Aakash cautioned that the young batter will have to work on his backfoot game. “He will have to work on one thing. The backfoot play is slightly weak. He got a life in the final and got out in the slips in the semi-final as well. If you have to play long, you will have to work hard on your game against the short ball,” said the former opener.
Aakash also heaped praises on spinner Saumy Pandey, who with 18 wickets in seven matches, finished as India’s leading wicket-taker and overall second-highest wicket-taker.

“Then let us go towards Saumy Pandey. He was the highest wicket-taker for us. He bowls left-arm spin and was also the vice-captain of this team. He bowls with great control and his speed variation is very good. He is a very decent player. I liked his temperament a lot,” Aakash concluded.

Recapping the match, While chasing a target of 254, two maiden overs from Australia foreshadowed the chain of events that were about to unfold in the next 43.5 overs. Arshin Kulkarni and Musheer Khan were the two casualties in the first powerplay, which handed Australia early control in the final.

During the run chase of 254, Mahli Beardman dismissed India’s skipper Uday Saharan in single digits for the first time in the tournament, which indicated that the chase was not going to be a walk in the park for the Indian team.
Adarsh Singh (47) and Murugan Abhishek (42) waged a battle during their time on the crease; however, it wasn’t enough to get India across the finishing line. India was bundled out for 174.

Besides Beardman, Raf MacMillan also took 3/43 while Calium Vidler took 2/35. Tom Straker and Charlie Anderson got one wicket each. Mahli was the star for Australia, taking 3/15 in his seven overs, getting key wickets of Adarsh, Indian skipper Uday and Musheer.

Earlier in the innings, after winning the toss, Hugh Weibgen’s Australia skipper decided to bat first and set a target of 254 runs in the final match. Harjas Singh (55), skipper Hugh Weibgen (48) and Oliver Peake (46) delivered notable contributions for Aussies. Raj Limbani (3/38) and Naman Tiwari (2/63) were the pick of the bowlers for India.

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