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Afridi hits form in practice games, Misbah hints at rethink

Published Dec 19, 2012 01:07pm


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afridi, musbah, afridi misbah, pakistan india odi series, pakistan india t20 series, pakistan's tour of india, pakistan india, wasim akram, misbah-ul-haq, younis khan, ms dhoni, inzamam, saeed ajmal, dav whatmore
“Indian players are afraid of Afridi and I fail to understand why he was dropped.” -Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Dropped all-rounder Shahid Afridi might be reconsidered for Pakistan's one-day international series against India, limited-overs captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Wednesday.    

Afridi was picked only for the two Twenty20s against India this month, but left out of the three one-dayers because he's scored only 182 runs in his last 16 ODIs with only one half century.

But Afridi has scored two half centuries in 50-over practice matches in the last three days, including 90 off 64 balls on Wednesday to catch the eyes of his captain.

“If his form remains like this and we needed him, we will definitely consider him,” Misbah said in Lahore at Pakistan's training camp for the tour.

“The form of senior players, who are experienced enough, is very important.”

Afridi has played 349 one-dayers, the third most for a Pakistani, but has struggled for runs in ODIs this year.

Former captain Wasim Akram reportedly criticised Afridi's exclusion from the ODIs and said the enigmatic allrounder could have been picked in any team as a bowler.

“Indian players are afraid of Afridi and I fail to understand why he was dropped,” Daily Jang quoted Akram as saying.

“If the selectors were thinking that Afridi was out of form then they should have also dropped him from the Twenty20 team.”

Pakistan leaves for India on Dec. 22, and the series begins with a Twenty20 at Bangalore on Dec. 25.

The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed another former captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, as the batting consultant for the short tour of India which ends on Jan. 6 after the third ODI at New Delhi.

Misbah said Inzamam has helped the batsmen how to be mentally strong while playing against India, and be aggressive against their archrivals.

“He is teaching us what types of hurdles we are going to face and how to get over them,” Misbah said.

“No doubt in India vs. Pakistan cricket you have to play aggressive cricket and we will try to apply it over there.”

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore believes offspinner Saeed Ajmal will be their trump card against India, but Misbah said the rest of the bowlers also have to take responsibility.

“India has depth in their batting lineup and you can't catch them with one bowler,” Misbah said.

“As always, Saeed Ajmal is our trump card, but as a team if we bowl well then we do have a chance and I think it's not a right thing to depend only on Saeed Ajmal.”

Misbah said the first tour between the neighbours in five years will ramp up the pressure and expectations more than usual, but he insists they must try to treat the series as a regular event.

“There is always pressure in India-Pakistan matches and it will stay like this whether we are playing against each other regularly or not,” Misbah said.

“Everyone follows it and has lots of expectations, but the key for us will be to play normal cricket like we do play against other teams.”


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Comments (29) Closed

Pasta Jan (Bhettani) Dec 20, 2012 08:02am
Yes Afridi should be included the ODI squad. He is an excellent all-rounder. Energetic fielder, good bowler, dangerous batsman and a great entertainer
Ghulam Mustafa Siddiqui Dec 20, 2012 01:19pm
totally agree with your prediction!
khan Dec 19, 2012 04:32pm
Karachi Wala Dec 19, 2012 01:20pm
Misbah and the selectors, instead thinking with their hearts need to use their brains.
Zishi Dec 19, 2012 01:31pm
Looking forward to this tour. Hopefully we will get to see some good quality cricket which will be good for a change from violence, killings, corruption and everything else that we are currently seeing in this country. God Bless Pakistan.
kirther Dec 19, 2012 05:06pm
If Afridi is not in form as batsman he justifies his selection as a very capable bowler, he has more merit points than captain Misbah. If anything Misbah needs more coaching in batting than Afridi, people still remember how he batted in World Cup semi final--why is he in the team- what about Mohammad Hafeez, was he not appointed captain in shorter version of the game one day and twenty 20 teams. It is not the players but the Cricket Board is not capable of planning to be a world leader in cricket, are there any top performers working in cricket board, their competence as professional managers is below par.
Anony Dec 19, 2012 03:26pm
Good luck team Pakistan. GO GREEN.
fasmik Dec 20, 2012 06:01am
With Afridi in the team, we will be playing with 10 batsmen only.
Huma Dec 19, 2012 05:28pm
oracle Dec 19, 2012 05:59pm
please get rid of all these pathetic players once and for all in One Dayers and T20's...Misbah, Younis, Umar Gul, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Afridi if he can't bat as well as bowl well
Muba Khan Dec 19, 2012 06:00pm
M. Hafeez was never appointed ODI captain. I do agree with management issues though
John Dec 19, 2012 06:06pm
Yes he is know to create crisis for his own team...get em out of the team!!!
Mohsin Khan Dec 20, 2012 06:31am
And select karachi wala for ODIs..:D
not an afridi fan Dec 19, 2012 06:14pm
Afridi is a man in wait I got one more...Afridi can lead to crisis...
Aamir Khan Dec 19, 2012 03:30pm
Anyone can score in Pakistan. Afridi has not performed in international cricket in a while and needs to sit through the series and continue to perform at domestic level. Like I said in my previous post he will join regardless as seems like Pakistani cricket rules by Friends and Family and not by performance. What a shame.
vijay, chennai, India Dec 20, 2012 08:12am
just because he played well in practise match doesnt mean he has come into form
Shahab Riazi Dec 19, 2012 11:20pm
I think Wasim is talking about his bowling that Indian players are afraid of, not batting. Besides, short pitch bowling has to be over 145K to be threatening and no Indian bowler can bowl that speed in the current team. I look forward to having Afridi in the team. He always has an extra trick or two up his sleeve. It should be a good contest.
Khan Dec 20, 2012 07:45am
Oh please, he has never hit the form in his career! He hardly performs in one match and than gets back to his usual form i.e. out on a duck!!
Iqbal Dec 20, 2012 06:44am
If the team plays against india like any other match , they will loose. The team should use the pressure against india to play more carefully and better by using the adrenaline generated by this pressure. Do not kid yourself by playing like you play against bangladesh
Vicky Raj Dec 20, 2012 07:55am
Pakistan will loose the ODI 2-1 and T20 2=0. Its my prediction.
Syed Shah Dec 19, 2012 09:41pm
They know how to get him out in fact every body in the world knows how to get him out. Just bowl out side the off stump he will take the foot not in the direction of the ball but away from the ball and towards left. That results in a sky high top edge. The team of eleven has enough time to have a draw who is going to catch and they get him. Has Misbah gone bonkers to even consider him. Gone are the days of his batting. He must be dropped to create space for a player of the future. Afridi is a player of the past.
Muba Khan Dec 19, 2012 05:46pm
Indian players are afraid of Afridi? Please get over this myth. Just because a legendary bowler is saying that does not mean its true; They are not afraid of him at all, they know exactly how to get him out..short pitch balls have always been his weakness.
Javid Shirazi Dec 19, 2012 07:26pm
Please don't be in denial. A player should only be selected on merit, not based on past performances. High time to move on.. Look to the future.
Zee from USA Dec 19, 2012 06:31pm
Wasim is dead wrong. Indian players are not afraid of Afridi any more, they showed it in the last several matches when Afridi was useless against them. Anyone who claims Afridi is towering is clueless against facts and data and just taken in by pure hype. A quick look at his averages tells the entire story. One performane in 20 matches does not make for a towering player.
Indusonian Dec 19, 2012 03:15pm
Misbah doesn't even comes close to a towering player like Afridi.
Michael Warner Dec 19, 2012 10:48pm
Pakistan and Indian sports atmosphere has become a healthy rivalary. From 60's to 2012 it has changed beyond comprehension. One reason comes to mind is that they play each other much more than the yester years. Figures like Afridi make the contests more attractive and much more saleable. Lucrative rewards for all from the players to the boards. Now that he is striking form he should be selected for the 50 over format also. The issue should be undebateable. He can change the result of a game in a very short time in the both formats. As an all rounder he should be in the team instead out of the team. Youngsters can be tried against other teams but not India.
Adil Dec 20, 2012 10:56am
ofcourse it is !
Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Dec 20, 2012 04:40pm
If Imran Farhat is in it. God knows why? then Afridi is an automatic selection One leged Afridi is better then Imran Farhat. Can anyone please let me know. On what grounds Imran Farhat was picked for the ODI's?
Player Dec 20, 2012 08:23pm
Afridi himself is a crisis ..