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If Afridi is going to persist with his hit-and-miss approach, could he be used as an option early on? -Photo by AP

What is Shahid Afridi worth?

His bowling in the ongoing World T20 has been decent, the batting not so much.

For Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, Afridi’s presence alone on the field adds value to the team and perhaps some tactical dilemmas for the opposition.

But when Pakistan take on India in their much-hyped clash on Sunday, Afridi will need to do a little more perhaps. An electric performance in the field, a couple of useful breakthroughs and maybe even a few runs with the bat, so as to ensure his ‘presence’ is actually felt by the opponents.

His bowling is obviously not the concern, an economy rate of 6.33 an over in the tournament is not too bad. It is his ‘indifferent’ approach to his role as a batsman, even in tight situations, such as the one against South Africa, which is most disconcerting.

Hafeez defended Afridi’s inconsistent form in the run up to the event and has stood by his star player in almost all press conferences in Sri Lanka so far. On the eve of the big match he once again sprung to the defence of the ‘all-rounder’.

“You don’t finish a career on the basis of one bad match. Afridi has always done well for Pakistan. His good or bad performances don’t matter to the team as much as his presence in the field does, that is the big thing.”

One possibility for Pakistan and Afridi himself would be a promotion up the order. The man relishes the challenge against India and maybe he needs the kind of belief that Younis Khan instilled in him in 2009.

Can Hafeez afford to do the same? If Afridi is going to persist with his hit-and-miss approach, could he be used as an option early on? Could it be the kind role he is looking for and should Pakistan shuffle around a combination that has worked well so far?

Pakistan are expected to go in with the same line up, should there be a change?

1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt.), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Yasir Arafat, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Raza Hasan.

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Comments (41)

Khalil
September 30, 2012 6:00 am
The idea of the writer is plainly waste because this is T20 world cup not a simple series. Are we not done with enough experiments?
Kashif
September 30, 2012 3:59 am
Think of this scenario. Afridi & Imran Nazir. Could be a chance Hafeez can take? Afridi holds the other end while Imran take chances!
nayyar51
September 30, 2012 9:17 am
Not to play Afridi is a risk however to play Afridi is a bigger risk. This poor fellow has got such a bad timing that mostly he gets out caught, at near about 30 yards circle. In batting line up he hardly deserves to come at number 11. If at all he is to be included in the team, he should only be considered as a bowler, who can't bat.
Que
September 30, 2012 6:23 am
The unfortunate dilemma with Afridi's batting is that there are hardly any overs left in the innings for him to bat (when he goes in to bat); with exception of the SA match. With just two or three overs left in the innings he can only hit the ball and try to score some extra runs... He is no doubt a terrific 'Bowler' both in T20 & ODI and batting up the order will give him a chance to settle down. He is still a match winner and a huge threat for the opposition team!!
Capt C M Khan
September 29, 2012 5:24 pm
Whats is Miandad doing with Afridi?? If a wicket falls in first six overs he must go and slog otherwise must be sent in death overs. as before.
Javed
September 30, 2012 3:19 am
Afridi should bat at number 11 from now on.
Sachal Lakhwani
September 30, 2012 4:18 am
Afridi can come one down, and Malik should be replaced by Razzak in the lower middle order. Gives us a strong bowling option also.
Shabut
September 30, 2012 4:27 am
We should stop looking at Afridi as a batsman and his place in the team should only be evaluated based on his bowling performance. There is no batsman left in him.
Athar Mazari
September 29, 2012 7:51 pm
i think asad shafiq b included in place of shoeb malik
AKA Joly
September 29, 2012 6:50 pm
Abdur-Razaq should come in place of Yasir or Raza Hasan. Reason is he is much more experienced in terms of bowling and his batting is big plus. Pakistan can open bowling with razaq.
T20champ
September 30, 2012 10:40 am
I would bring Afridi up the line and open with Imran nazir and show india that we mean business and if afridi goes then we are back to number one start up of Imran nazir and Hafeez, I would also get rid of Arafat and bring in Abdul Razak and get this match on our books as a win....
impala
September 30, 2012 2:24 am
Shahid Afridi should not be in the team. Period.
Topat
September 30, 2012 2:19 am
Razzaq bhai is needed as experienced puppy who can let his bat do the talking esp at #7; Afridi should come at #6. Arafat should be replaced by Razzaq who will whuf-whuf the Indians into submission. Our bowling will not per se lead us to victory.
waziri
September 30, 2012 1:34 am
Afridi should be bring before shoaib Malik in the Batting
Nadeem
September 30, 2012 12:25 am
Afridi still has lot to offer and a role to play. Tinkering around the batting order is not a good idea. Not sure what is going on in the dug out that has upset the dynamics of BOOM BOOM. Hafeez and coach needs to talk to Afridi, he is little down on confidence, not sure why. Maybe little insecure. His body language is also not as it was in 2009 WC. He is a natural born leader and should be provided freedom to perform. His confidence or lack of it has started to effect his bowling and team as well. Hoping and praying that he is back in form soon.
Ali Danish
September 29, 2012 10:35 pm
A G R E E !
Abdul
September 29, 2012 10:09 pm
DROP HIM!!!!!!!!
Aamir
September 29, 2012 9:51 pm
Indians are very good players of spin. Either Yasir Arafat or Raza Hasan should be replaced Abdul Razzaq. More likey Yasir Arafat should be dropped. I
ikram
September 30, 2012 11:33 am
Afridi is a man of match tilter. He should not be tried to perform miracle in tense situation, as this will thwart his capabilities.
Gulap
September 30, 2012 9:41 am
miss and hit? if you send some at number 7, with few deliveries to play, should that person take an hour to settle down?
suzaine
September 30, 2012 7:17 pm
Pakistanis ki to purani aadath hai jab koi khiladi acha khelta hai to sab taarif kerte hai,acha nahi khela bechara strugle karega to bhokna shuru kerdete hai.retirement ke peeche pad ker to Akhtar to nikaal diya ab Afridi ke peeche padker usko nikaal doge to tuhari team mai bachega kon? girls ko team mai rakh lo. hahahahaha........!
salmanzq
September 30, 2012 11:30 am
Move him...out of the team!
ish
September 29, 2012 6:25 pm
Afridi must simply go. Enough of him. Razak should replace him.
Hyder Ali
September 29, 2012 6:23 pm
Salams, Shahid Afridi has never suffered such a slump but I am seeing this as a lull before a storm, may be fastest ever century in t20 by Shahid Afridi Inshallah. Win with style and the whole nation is praying for boom boom and team Pakistan. Regards, Hyder Ali
wafaq
September 29, 2012 6:07 pm
Hafeez should never change the order and go ahead with the same as it is working well.
True Indian
October 1, 2012 2:55 pm
For Afridi its not BOOM BOOM....its Bhussss Bhusssss.....
Asif Ali
September 30, 2012 8:29 am
Afridi isn't in form so I am not sure what you gain from moving him up the order against India. Move him down to 10th.
Zeeshan Rehmat
September 30, 2012 9:11 am
Afridi is a match winner and have performed well against india (either bowling or batting). Pakistan Should make Abdul Razzaq play as he also has a good record against india. He will definately do better than Arfat and his experience with bowling can bring plus to the side (unfortunately, his bowling skills are wasted so far).
Salahuddin
September 29, 2012 10:46 pm
Keeping in view, Afridi's current form, sending him earlier for batting be really risky as probability of him getting out in single digit is high and it will definitely put the middle order under immense pressure. I would rather love to see Afridi replaced by A. Razzaq- a seasoned all rounder, with an excellent track record against India.
Hello1
September 30, 2012 4:36 am
He is finished as a batsmen. Send him at any position, he is bound to flop
Don Bradman
September 30, 2012 4:38 am
The best way for Afridi is to open along with Imran Nazir. He can bat well in the power play. The opposition will feel so much pressure and the bowlers will be unable to maintain a tight line and length. More over together they will feel more confident if one is unable to hit the other one can release the pressure of dot balls.
True Indian
September 30, 2012 11:02 am
Bhai every team wants Afridi to play coz then they are sure that Pakistan will start their innings already one down...plus he is a small dose of laughter in a tense atmosphere...so we pray that he surely plays...and dont u know that PCB plays Afridi because of his face value which attracts public to stadiums and television and they thereby make money...otherwise u know Afridi's real worth...
Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
September 30, 2012 5:30 pm
Afridi has lost what he had been known for. Even he may not remember when he was the best in batting so where does he fit in. In blowing too he not the best in any case. I am very fond of him but my liking cannot and should not cost the country. It is high time for us to find someone better than him. Shoaib Malik has played as a better batsman though he had been discreded but has come back better than earlier. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
Sameer
September 30, 2012 5:05 am
I think Afridi... if he is only sitting in the dressing room can be a big pressure on the other team and a hope for Pakistani Player... If I think also on my own, in bad times, "AFRIDI ABHI AYE GA NA" any thing can happened he is a inspiration for his team mates and public. He should go as late as possible. he is a good bowler and gives 100% in the field. Razzak is a good option but he has been sitting for a long while. cannot use him in a big match. lets pray and hope for the best in today match.
Salahuddin
September 30, 2012 2:56 pm
OMG- the same thing happened, see the way middle order is under pressure- only due to Afridi's soft dismissal.
azee27516@yahoo.com
September 29, 2012 11:09 pm
Abdul Razzaq should be included in place of Arafat
XYZ
September 30, 2012 7:48 am
With persistent loss of batting capability it is difficult to justify a place for Afridi in the team.
arnold
September 30, 2012 5:30 am
No matter where you send him in the batting order, he wouldn't deliver. He is not a batsman, not a batsman, not a batsman, not a batsman, not a batsman, not a batsman. His days as spinner are over, too. He's been suggesting to "senior" players to go, while he is the senior most player in the team. He should lead by example.
aliii
September 30, 2012 5:35 am
Afridi should go home and do allah allah.
Pakman
September 30, 2012 5:42 am
Please don't change anything!! Razaq is not a better bowler than Yasir, he is not a better fielder than Yasir, his batting is not guaranteed to fire. Keep the same side and the same batting order. If considering to promote Afridi, don't send him higher than 3-down, becuase it might upset the top order which has done well except against SA.
Nadeem Mirza
September 30, 2012 2:30 pm
Capt: In my earlier comment stated that it is not a good idea to tinker around with the batting order. What Miandad has to do with Afridi not scoring. He is not coming good in batting for long time.
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