Middle order October 24, 2006

Afridi must rediscover his boom boom

Shahid Afridi is as much of an enigma as he ever was
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Shahid Afridi is as much of an enigma as he ever was. Only a special cricketer can set pulses racing in the way Afridi does. When he succeeds he is audacious. But when he fails he is abysmal. Last year he showed the riches that his aggression, if controlled a little, could deliver for Pakistan cricket. His success was also as a result of the backing he received from coach and captain.

Yet sometime around Pakistan's tour to Sri Lanka, the boom boom went out of Afridi. He prematurely retired from Test cricket and since his return has failed to make an impact. What has gone wrong?

The tour of England was an unhappy one for Afridi. Inzamam held him back too late in the order for him to influence the innings when he had previously been a middle order stick of dynamite. My view on Afridi is that he seems to be a player who does respond to responsibility and this affront to his achievements set him back. By the time the one-day series came around Afridi was off form and the pitches were perfectly unsuited to his brand of bravado.

For these reasons I don't believe this summer's failures are an adequate indication of Afridi's value to the team. In India and in the West Indies the pitches will be tailor made for Afridi to rediscover his boom boom. It's what the specatators want and I'm sure television producers won't complain either.

But Afridi does need to change one thing. I agree with him that going in too late in the order is a waste of his unique talent. He does, however, need to be mentally prepared to go in anywhere between number 1 and 7 depending on the state of the game. This is not an unreasonable scenario for a mature cricketer. Afridi's oft stated request to bat at number 6 has the ring of an unnecessary obsession--and Afridi is a man of instinct not obesession.

All Pakistan fans--and many from other countries--need their dose of Boom Boom. He has looked a distracted cricketer for many months. One blitz will turn that distraction into joy.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Marty on September 8, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    We could've done with that inshigt early on.

  • Vikram Maingi on May 4, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    This man is a non-performer with the bat for a very long time now.

  • srinivas on October 25, 2006, 9:15 GMT

    Afridi is a match winner with the bat. But for him to be effective,he has to open the innings. He also needs to curb his instincts a bit and get his eye in for 8-10 balls before lashing out. Afterall, now there are an additional 5 overs with fielding restrictions so no harm in playing a maiden over or two. Whenever he walks out to bat i hope to see a few mighty hits (even if it's against India)

  • Balaji on October 25, 2006, 7:58 GMT

    Over the last few matches I see that Afridi has been a bit more consistent, especially the Indian series etc. He should be in the opening slot where he can turn the match with the Power Plays up & also made to bowl 10 overs. His role & batting position should be fixed as he can be very vital for Pakistan with his rich experience.

  • Soofian on October 25, 2006, 7:51 GMT

    It is right that Afridi is not doing a valuable job these days for his team. As the pitch report said in the first 10 overs of today's match it would be difficult to play. So I think he should come lower down the order if batting first and if second then he should open the inning to take advantage of power play.

  • Omaire Mahmood on October 25, 2006, 7:38 GMT

    I want Afridi to open because flat tracks suit him plus there is the new ball, fast outfield and powerplays in the ODI game. However the sad thing is that the Pakistan team have countless openers who have talent which should not be wasted. These openers have worked hard to to perfect on how to open the innings while Afridi has tried to perfect his game in all aspects - fielding, batting and bowling.

  • Faiz on October 25, 2006, 0:55 GMT

    I'm agree with abbasi i'm a big big fan of he need good back up from his capt and couch he'll come back very soon could be tonight just relaxe

  • Peter on October 25, 2006, 0:55 GMT

    Whenever Afridi comes out to bat, he somehow changes the course of the game. That's why he should be somewhere in the middile order, I think even as high as number 5 sometimes, especially with Inzi not there at the moment. In the Twenty20 match recently, he scored 28 of 10 balls to steal the match from the opposition. Sure he may throw his wicket away early, but if he's in the middle you can still have experienced batsmen coming in after him to keep the innings alive e.g. Razzaq. But he can provide the spark that ignites a huge total out of them and he can also score blistering 50s and 100s too, which, combined with his wicket taking ability too, is why you have to leave him in the team and take the good with the bad.

  • Babar on October 25, 2006, 0:54 GMT

    Openers are going to set victories in the world cup. Australia,India and Sri Lanka will set their goals to have atleast 8 runs per over for the first 10 overs. Pakistan can win if AFRIDI is placed as a opener. There he must respond positivly. He has done it as a fastest century maker in Nairoby and he has done in India as well. He should stand up like a Pathan and face the challenge. Pakistan is going to face WI and SI after Champions Trophy, if he fails as middle order batsman, his days have been counted !

  • Atif Jafry on October 25, 2006, 0:11 GMT

    Afridi is a very valuable bowler, and excellent fielder and do not forget his niggling mini confrontations with the batsmen to throw them off their game. These traits alone prove his selection a necessity. However people tend to focus on his batting only since its the most dramatic and when he fails with the bat, he fails in the people's minds and hearts and they never applaud his achievements and contribution with the ball, mouth and on the field.

  • Marty on September 8, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    We could've done with that inshigt early on.

  • Vikram Maingi on May 4, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    This man is a non-performer with the bat for a very long time now.

  • srinivas on October 25, 2006, 9:15 GMT

    Afridi is a match winner with the bat. But for him to be effective,he has to open the innings. He also needs to curb his instincts a bit and get his eye in for 8-10 balls before lashing out. Afterall, now there are an additional 5 overs with fielding restrictions so no harm in playing a maiden over or two. Whenever he walks out to bat i hope to see a few mighty hits (even if it's against India)

  • Balaji on October 25, 2006, 7:58 GMT

    Over the last few matches I see that Afridi has been a bit more consistent, especially the Indian series etc. He should be in the opening slot where he can turn the match with the Power Plays up & also made to bowl 10 overs. His role & batting position should be fixed as he can be very vital for Pakistan with his rich experience.

  • Soofian on October 25, 2006, 7:51 GMT

    It is right that Afridi is not doing a valuable job these days for his team. As the pitch report said in the first 10 overs of today's match it would be difficult to play. So I think he should come lower down the order if batting first and if second then he should open the inning to take advantage of power play.

  • Omaire Mahmood on October 25, 2006, 7:38 GMT

    I want Afridi to open because flat tracks suit him plus there is the new ball, fast outfield and powerplays in the ODI game. However the sad thing is that the Pakistan team have countless openers who have talent which should not be wasted. These openers have worked hard to to perfect on how to open the innings while Afridi has tried to perfect his game in all aspects - fielding, batting and bowling.

  • Faiz on October 25, 2006, 0:55 GMT

    I'm agree with abbasi i'm a big big fan of he need good back up from his capt and couch he'll come back very soon could be tonight just relaxe

  • Peter on October 25, 2006, 0:55 GMT

    Whenever Afridi comes out to bat, he somehow changes the course of the game. That's why he should be somewhere in the middile order, I think even as high as number 5 sometimes, especially with Inzi not there at the moment. In the Twenty20 match recently, he scored 28 of 10 balls to steal the match from the opposition. Sure he may throw his wicket away early, but if he's in the middle you can still have experienced batsmen coming in after him to keep the innings alive e.g. Razzaq. But he can provide the spark that ignites a huge total out of them and he can also score blistering 50s and 100s too, which, combined with his wicket taking ability too, is why you have to leave him in the team and take the good with the bad.

  • Babar on October 25, 2006, 0:54 GMT

    Openers are going to set victories in the world cup. Australia,India and Sri Lanka will set their goals to have atleast 8 runs per over for the first 10 overs. Pakistan can win if AFRIDI is placed as a opener. There he must respond positivly. He has done it as a fastest century maker in Nairoby and he has done in India as well. He should stand up like a Pathan and face the challenge. Pakistan is going to face WI and SI after Champions Trophy, if he fails as middle order batsman, his days have been counted !

  • Atif Jafry on October 25, 2006, 0:11 GMT

    Afridi is a very valuable bowler, and excellent fielder and do not forget his niggling mini confrontations with the batsmen to throw them off their game. These traits alone prove his selection a necessity. However people tend to focus on his batting only since its the most dramatic and when he fails with the bat, he fails in the people's minds and hearts and they never applaud his achievements and contribution with the ball, mouth and on the field.

  • Salman on October 24, 2006, 23:47 GMT

    I dont understand how he has lasted all that many years. A 100 from 60 or 70 balls. That will follow with ings of 0, 1 , 10, 15, 0, 10, 2 another odd fifty. Again 0, 1 , 10, 15, 0, 10, 2. There is no point having a player like him.

  • Dr Syed Imran on October 24, 2006, 23:45 GMT

    As a Pathan myself, I know the mentality of Afridi. He wants to go for the maximum kill all the time. He weighs no reponsibilty. He doesnt feel any pressure. Afridi is the same as he started 10 years ago. He is the best as an opener. Give him a sniff and he will deliver the goods. We just need one good performance from him. It is only posible when he is allowed to open as no. 1 or 2. We all know he needs just one good match.

  • Sandip Bhaskar on October 24, 2006, 23:34 GMT

    1) Unreliable 2) Short-Tempered 3) Foul-mouth 4) Special talent

    All rolled into one.

    His game is more suited for Twenty-20 version of cricket.

  • haris khan on October 24, 2006, 23:08 GMT

    as much as i would love to see afridi playing i would hate to say that afridi doesnt deserve a place in the side, simply coz he cant learn and is a waste of a man in the side. he is been playing for pakistan for a while and too many people tried too many different things with him and even he tried all that too but it all boils down to a point where his inability of learning the situation and dealing with it cause us so much frustration and disappointment and i guess its time to stop expermineting with him. give him a chance till world cup and if he still fails to deliver then just get rid of him. and yeah agree that a profesnol player should be able to play anywhere and in any role according to the team's requirment, rest of the talks are just excuses.

  • abid on October 24, 2006, 22:59 GMT

    i think India is da place for Afridi and here he will certainly gain some form if Pakistan has to win Champions Trophy Afridi Needs to fire

  • ali on October 24, 2006, 22:54 GMT

    the fact that pakistani openers are so inconsistent is the sole reason why afridi continues to be in the setup. i am a massive afridi fan but in the last 30 odis his highest score is 34. i dont think he shud open but i think he shud come up the order. there is no sense of him and razzaq coming at the same time because it is difficult for both to get going at once. in fact i think malik facilitates razzaq a lot better by taking singles. afidi needs to come at no.4. he needs to take singles rather than bash the ball. look at symonds he doesnt bash the ball from the word go. yousuf needs to be the backbone and him and younis coming back to back is dangerous. because the wickets are bad here and if both get out cheaply back to back it can spell doom for pakistan.

  • Zeeshan on October 24, 2006, 22:45 GMT

    Afidi is one of the few core entertainers of the game. I have seen a stadium fill up because he was due to bat and a whole cluster leave the game once he was out. He has a similar effect on the opposition, with the opposing captain thinking and then rethinking his strategies. When he is on song, bowlers sweat bricks, fielders hope the ball doesnt come their way and the umpires tire their shoulders signalling boundaries every other ball.

    I think his brand of play is like a trump card that has to be played with smarts and guile. Whether the captain and coach decide to send him up the order or in the middle, he has the ability to change the game in an instant. Yes, he seems to have lost his destructive edge recently but one smack-fest with the ball and the pathan will be back.

  • MFK on October 24, 2006, 22:25 GMT

    Afridi, like, Inzimmam has never understood his true potential. If and when he does that he will be the only batsman that the cricket world will be talking about. He is the reason many people watch Pak cricket. When he gets out the interest in the match is lost; at least for me it is. Don't forget that he came into the team a bowler and he is a damn good one at that. He has always been dropped from the team on the basis of his batting; it's a shame! as he has always produced spells and broken partnerships. Like a true KHAN he is HELL for the opposition; which cricketer evokes such jubilationb when he falls? NONE. Cuz when Afridi falls the game is almost won for the opposition...Inzi comes in a close second..

  • daanish on October 24, 2006, 22:06 GMT

    i say afridi is a marvelous player.the thing is his battin order keeps changin and he finds it difficult .i prefer him batting at no 6 so he can hit .god luck

  • naeem on October 24, 2006, 21:58 GMT

    i think afridi is now nothing more than a boom boom. i think he should give up and give chance to some other talent in pakistan( as it is difficult to for me becoz i m a big fan of afridi).i have two reasons for this if he come as a opner he can not handle swinging ball and goes out which puts the whole team under pressure, and if he comes at no. 6,7 he can not handle spin effectively.so what do u say about it

  • JAVED A. KHAN on October 24, 2006, 21:42 GMT

    NO matter what I write and when I write it seldom gets published may be its due to the time difference between Pakistan and Canada. I am in Montreal Canada.

    I believe that no matter how many times he fails, Afridi should ONLY and ONLY play as an opener in the ODI games. For test matches he can play down the order, but in ODI's he can play over the infielder's heads and have more chances of making runs. I think he has scored more runs as an opener than playing down the order, can anyone confirm this?

  • Amer Khan on October 24, 2006, 21:36 GMT

    Lets not forget, Afridi is very gutsy. He trashes anybowler that bowls to him including McGarth, Flintoff, Irfan etc. They need to send him down the order when the ball is no longer new and its not moving too much.

  • Mehroze - Toronto, Canada on October 24, 2006, 21:34 GMT

    I would always have Afridi in Pakistan's team. His ability to bowl at an amazingly fast clip creates huge pressure on the opposition. He's a terrific fielder to boot and a spark plug for the team when everyone's spirits are down.

    His batting is a huge bonus. Even if he makes (say) 30 runs, but by doing it in just 20 balls, when another player would need 40, give Pakistan a bouns of 20 balls. That's 3 and a 1/3 overs advantage in a 50 over match. HUGE!!

  • fred karmally on October 24, 2006, 21:34 GMT

    The oppostion has caught onto Afridi's hitting style. They bowl so that he can hit but cannot get a really good shot and so he gets caught. They are not giving him an short deliveries, or bouncers or well pitched balls. Just swinging away stuff, just short of length which he has to stretch to reach or mishit. It started with India in Pakistan in the ODI's. And he has rarely played a decent innings after that. His days as a hitter are numbered.

  • Owais Ahmad on October 24, 2006, 21:33 GMT

    The most stupidest, most idiotiest thing to do is to send Shahid Afridi up the order. I doubt the analytical abilities of those so-called experts who profess that Afridi should open the innings. He is worth a place for his all round performance, 10 over for about 40 odd runs and a wicket or two, 3 overs of potentially explosive batting at number 6 or 7. If there are 20 overs left, send Razzaq not Afridi, if there are 4 overs left and we are only 3 down, send Afridi. As simple as that !

  • taz on October 24, 2006, 21:31 GMT

    Afridi to open if we are chasing a big total, otherwise send him in at 6.

  • Farhan on October 24, 2006, 20:50 GMT

    I strongly agree with Ather that Afridi needs to play as an opener and I think that is his place the best place as an opener. In addition, he can mature his game as an opener and sending him down the order is a mistake.

  • Shiraz from Houston, USA on October 24, 2006, 20:46 GMT

    Afridi should definitely be either an opener or should be right there after Akmal. He is not a middle order batsman....I still think he as an opener is right choice because he can literally take the game away in the first 10 over if clicking (remember at Kanpur vs India) and the powerplay is something that is a feast for nobody else but Afridi....think about that!

  • Faadi on October 24, 2006, 20:44 GMT

    I fail to understand why everyone here is talking about Afridi taking on responsibility. This is something he has not done in his entire career, so how do you expect him to do that now. The bottom line is that he is one of the match winners in our team. If Boom Boom clicks, we are garaunteed to win the match..if not...tough luck. I believe he deserves a place in the team.

  • waqas zaheer on October 24, 2006, 20:44 GMT

    i think afridi is worth the gamble in one day cricket and it is just a matter of time before he destroys any bowling attack (whether it be india or autralia). His bowling is more then useful as he always seems to pick up crucial wicket.

    he is one of the most feared batsmen in the world so should never be dropped

  • Ghalib Taimur on October 24, 2006, 20:37 GMT

    dear kamran You are right afridi is one of the biggest underachievers in the game and now he has got plenty of experience and should be aware of his responsibilities as a seasoned veteran.He is a great entertainer but i would want him to become as consistent as a Dhoni or Justin Kemp.However he provides Pakistan with a good bowling option and also one of Pakistans best fielders.

  • Jahanzeb on October 24, 2006, 20:36 GMT

    I agree with kamran.

    Shahid Afridi is a very useful player and all the top teams love to have him at their side. pakistan is fortunate enough to have such natural talented striker. All there is needed to back him up and raise his confidence to that level again where he can perform upto the expectations. You are right that one superb performance from shahid will close down all the doors of critiques for him, he desperately need a good knock and let us hope for the better. Jahanzeb Dal, Karachi.

  • Asim on October 24, 2006, 20:35 GMT

    I agree that he is vital part of the Pakistan team. All Afridi needs is a mental toughness and maturity. Afridi's level of maturity is at pretty much the same level when he entered the cricket arena. His adaptability to the situation is not at par with his experience. Sometime his aggresion and rush of blood towards certain opposition players is indicative of this phenomena. How he is going to achieve this maturity and mental toughness is hard to guess, but sonner he gets its better for Pakistan.

  • usman on October 24, 2006, 20:33 GMT

    I think the comment about dropping Afridi from the one day side is unfounded and shows a complete lack of understanding of today's ODI game. Afridi is extremely valuable in ODI: batsman, bowler, fielder. Any side in the world would drop one of their main players to get Afridi into their ODI squad. We often underestimate his bowling and measure his success with the bat alone. Case in point: aginst Sri Lanka he failed with the bat, but succeeded with the ball, and yet we all say he failed.

  • aamir jilani on October 24, 2006, 20:29 GMT

    i think afridi is a natural hitter of the ball and does it with his insticts,which should not be curbed. i guess a very suitabke position for him to bat is at number 5 cause if he fires thats good if not then there will still be more batsmen to come, wish you all the best afridi.

  • kabir awadhi on October 24, 2006, 20:28 GMT

    mark my words="the way no one can break don bradmans record, no one can break shahid afridis record of having a striking rate of more then 100 after playing more then 230 ODIs".so,afridi is already a legend,afridi is the only player in todays cricket,when he arrives to bat before even facing a ball, the fielders spread.afridi is the only player, whether you r a supporter or against pakistan cricket team makes u seat on the edge of the seat from his arrival till his departure from the ground,cuz only GOD knows the ball afridi is going to face will the ball go to the stadium or afridi himself,his 10 ball ining is more intresting then 130 ball century made by genious batsmans.shahid afridi is not must for pakistan cricket but cricket itself,and i m not speaking on just my behalf but after speaking to thousand other afridi fans all over the world from cricket chat rooms.

  • Taki Mazhar on October 24, 2006, 20:26 GMT

    Pakistan has wasted a lot of time in trying to market Afridi as an alrounder, agreed he is a phenom, ("was" should be more aptly used). Today if Afridi is to be used in the scheme of things, it should be purely as a bowler, that can also bat and nothing else. We must concentrate on playing proper cricket in order to win, and not worry too much on the "BOOM BOOM" factor.

  • Amjad on October 24, 2006, 20:24 GMT

    i presonally feel sorry for Afridi.And yes i must say this too, he is wasted many many and many times. i mean its making no sense. sending him in to bat at NO.6,7 or 8 simply means "sacrifying" a very important player of your team. i do believe he can and he has deliverd so many times,and that too, not way back. he is a sort of item with the lable " Handle with care". only intelligent and thinking captain can take full advantage of shahid Afridi in any form of cricket game. wish u all the best Afridi

  • Malik AMeer Mohammad Khan on October 24, 2006, 20:20 GMT

    I am a die hard Afridi Fan Afridi is an amazing crickter but at times he had his downfall for showing lack of maturity but he has only himself to blame i think Afridi is a sort of player who needs total dead batting tracks to play his shorts according to his will and when ever he has taken his chance against a new ball on a seaming track or on a spinning track againt spinners he's failed and i feel if he takes a bit of reponsibilty and plays only slective shorts not try to be to smart he can be more destructive then Sehwag or Pieterson but what ever he does i would like him to see spend more time in the middle.

  • sabika on October 24, 2006, 20:19 GMT

    afridi should do well in these conditions especialy in the upcomming match because of the batting track provided. I think it would have been ok for him to retire form tests cause pakistan did'nt play him anyway hes not test material. 20/20 is his domain though

  • Usman on October 24, 2006, 20:07 GMT

    I think kamran has got it spot on with shaid afridi's batting order...why isnt afridi coming at no's # 3 or 4...when the field restrictions are on and he can play freely...he should be opening the batting in the subcontinent.

  • Ibrahim on October 24, 2006, 19:47 GMT

    BOOM BOOM BOOM if you open up the innings with him in the sub-continent ... else send him when quicks of new zeland are ON ... he'll surely blow them up even if it is at number 7 ... May the Fours Be With Him ...

  • Majid Ali on October 24, 2006, 19:46 GMT

    Afridi is like a volcano. His aura overshadows every other player on the field and he exists only for one reason: to erupt and to destroy the opponents. Like a volcano, he only has two states. He's either dormant or hes blastng bowlers till hes bored of it. His form is an area of concern for everyone. It shouldnt. Sooner or later he will erupt.

  • sofia on October 24, 2006, 19:45 GMT

    Afridi and Muralitharan have equivalent batting capability. SO lets not waste blog space on him. Afridi should bat at no.10 or no.11

  • Dotcom on October 24, 2006, 19:45 GMT

    Boom Boom Afridi is a victim of his own success. Luckily for him he is an All Rounder, and can probably even WK if needed..

    he is lucky for now that he can be the primary spinner, bowl 10 overs at a quick pace/avg economy, and hopefully bag a couple important wickets. With this talent, batting # 8 is a BONUS .. and we should feel Boom Boom's batting will always be a bonus .. thus reducing the mental letdown when he fails ..

    and hope for our sake, atleast match his avg any given day.

  • Atique Siddiqi on October 24, 2006, 19:41 GMT

    I firmly believe Afridi is the future of Pakistan Cricket although hes been around for a while now. He was instrumental in pakistan's success last year and i believe he can be as good if not better than Flintoff in his affectiveness. I agree with Kamran, Afridi does repond to responsibility, maybe a vice captain's role would be the ideal thing . And yes come the world cup, i hope and pray, come April we'll be calling the 2007 world cup THE AFRIDI CUP!!!

  • Intikhab Alam on October 24, 2006, 19:40 GMT

    I totally disagree with the team captain and management’s strategy, if any, to send Afridi lower down the order. He is a natural slogger of the cricket ball. Outside of the 20 powerplay overs, the field is spread out and it drastically increases the probability of Afridi getting out by getting caught in the outfield. He has to cleanly clear the boundary every time he hits the ball when the field is spread out, which puts more puts more psychological pressure him. I think by having him play as an opener, he has less pressure on him, his probability to getting out decreases, and he can score at unbelievable rates. I am sure if one looks at his career record, his average must be significantly higher when he opens compared to his average when he bats lower down the order. I don't buy the argument that his early departure as an opener puts pressure on the rest of the team. I think it puts more pressure on the team and him as well, when doesn't score in the middle order. Afridi is an enormous talent and we can't afford to make him a victim of constant, inconsistent batting order changes.

  • Hafeez on October 24, 2006, 19:39 GMT

    Hi, I think Afridi plays too much for the public which is very unprofessional. Along with his batting, he has also become an average fielder from a very good fielder. His bowling has no sprint which we use to c in his early career. So, its wake up time for Mr. Afridi.....

  • Ahmer Khan on October 24, 2006, 19:37 GMT

    Pakistan doesnt have the luxury of even one opener who can boast of having a permanent place in the team. Afridi coming in at 6 or 7 doesnt make any sense in one-dayers as he is only suitable for the power play overs when the fielders arent outside the circle. Its high time the pak cricket authroties figure this simple thing out and push this talented cricketer in the opening slot. Every Afridi fan has come to terms with the fact that boom boom afridi is always one ball away from getting out, so even if he gets out in the first over, whats the big deal?. atleast he wont waste any balls as the other openers of Pak team do all the time; yet they dont succeed in giving a substantial opening stand to the team.

  • Mohd Yasin on October 24, 2006, 19:31 GMT

    Yes, who wouldnt love to see BOOM BOOM AFRIDI! It goes like this when Afridi comes to strike: I no longer sit in my place, the volume is increased, and I clasp my hands in prayer that its not the last ball of the innings that he is facing. I love him, yet loathe him. Such serious talent and he seriously knows how to waste it. Afridi with controlled agression can bring down Saeed Anwars 194 very easily. (No offence to Saeed Anwar - one of the best openers - when can Pakistan get another like him.) With the experience that he has he should be mentally prepared to play a huge role at any spot in the batting order. In one cricket websites forum one bangladeshi fan wrote about Bangladeshi batsmen Mohammed Ashrafuls performance in these words :: He is just like Eid - twice a year and lots of fun. Though I am not comparing these two A's - unfortunately the same is with Afridi. Just like Eid. Twice a year and loads of fun. Conincidentally today is the second day of Eid here.

  • Ali on October 24, 2006, 19:31 GMT

    It is in the team's interest to know what Afridi will do as early in the innings as possible, so the rest of the team can play accordingly. With three other allrounders, Pakistan's ODI batting is deep enough to gamble with one wicket. Afridi should come in at 4 when the shine is off the new ball. But the team should be prepared to bat around his inevitable and frequent failures, considering he merits ODI selection as a legspinning fielder alone. Managing expectations is the key to getting the best value from him.

  • Aziz on October 24, 2006, 19:30 GMT

    I would also like to add that Afridi had proved fairly valuable with the ball, both in one-day and test cricket, especially when he is able to zip through the overs.

    He may not be as flambuoyant as Imran or Wasim, but certainly puts alot of pressure on the opposition. I think being a senior batsman in the side, he needs to sit dow with the coach, and try to eliminate his weaknesses. To Afridi: Use technology dude. You are one of the reasons we still watch cricket!!

  • bilal on October 24, 2006, 19:21 GMT

    In some terms i agree with Mr. Kamran, in a sense that Afridi should adapt himself according to the situation, though his type of cricketer is not expected to deliver every match yet some quick runs at the top of the batting order can surge a sense of activeness and set the tempo of the game whether batting first or chasing a target. If i was the captain, i would have him opening the innings on consistent basis due to his tendency to hit in the air more often than either razzaq and kamran akmal.

  • Ghalib Taimur on October 24, 2006, 19:20 GMT

    Well....interesting topic...Talking about Afridi i believe he is one of the biggest underachievers in the game.There have been other pinch hitters who have evolved over the years who have been more consistent but however not as exciting.Look at guys like Kemp and Dhoni who have got averages above 35.Afridi must learn to become more consistent rather than being flambouyant and must be aware of which shots to play on which delivery.However he does provide Pakistan with a decent bowling option who takes important wickets in the middle. he can do better than that......... i think so

  • aimel khan on October 24, 2006, 19:19 GMT

    There is no doubt about afridi agression and his contributios to win the matches sometime but since some time boom boom became dump down afridi. Thanks to his bowling which clicks sometimes but he must concentrate also on his batting coz most of the time he is guest of 4 or 5 balls which is alrming situation. Im his fan but his recent form and his involvement in politics decrese his popularity to some extent. Someone should advice him to start using spanich like razaq and good luck to him and all the team to win the champion trophy. Pakistan zindabad

  • Jahangir J. Kabir on October 24, 2006, 19:01 GMT

    Afridi has an enviable record in India, but most of them came as an opener. In order for him to produe that "boom boom", he needs to play when the ball is hard and field restriction is in effect. I can't think of a significant innings that Afridi produced in India batting at Middle or late order positions. He must open and start doing his things before the oppoents have time to settle. By the time they can figure out the things the game should be over for them by then.

  • Ahmad Harris on October 24, 2006, 18:57 GMT

    I am not in full agreement here. With the passage of time bravado and flamboyance have to be substituted with guile and a mature approach towards the game. Afridi in my reckoning has finally developed a cricketing mindset and he now is aware of his responsibility and as many people would agree with me he uses his flamboyance to exert pressure rather than to relieve it as was the case in the pre-Woolmer era.

  • Afridi Fan on October 24, 2006, 18:49 GMT

    Afridi should play open for 2 reasons.

    1. To milk full advantage of restricted fielding. Even if its a miss hit or an edge it will beat the fielders in the ring. 5 overs of Afridi Boom Boom can set the tone for the rest of the 45overs.

    2. If he does not succeed in getting runs and gets out early as an opener, the Yousuf's, Yonuis and team can make up to it or stabalise the situation of early loss of the opener. (btw, Paks been struggling with openers in any case so why not have Afridi to get he max as a consistent "opener gamble").

    Batting at 6th or other rank is either with no power play on which means he needs to get his Boom Boom right or by the time he gets in the situation is so critical that he is forced to play a slow game which is just not him.

  • Gerard C Prescod on October 24, 2006, 18:49 GMT

    I haxe seen Afridi bat a few times, He excites any crowd once he gets going. I however firmly believe that his best position is high up the order, whhenthe field restrictions are on and the ball is hard. Afridi is one of the best hitters I have seen. Too me even better than Chris Gayle.Players like Afridi need to be be released early on fast bowlers taking them off their stride, it also brings some excitement to the game.

  • rashid on October 24, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    i Thing afridi should bat at number one posion in subcontinant & also in west Indies if afridi get going he took game away from the other side & also we can more affictive use the power play period,,,, Anyway my Best wishes always with afridi & all The pakistani teams...rashid from Gujranwala

  • Adnan on October 24, 2006, 18:41 GMT

    Afridi has the talent, the raw hitting ability and a great eye to be a good lower middle order batsman but i think he doesnt play himself in well before playing his shots, not every pitch is going to allow you to play your shots from the get go, he needs to understand that to score consistently he has to first play a few balls and gauge the bounce, movement off the pitch before unleashing his shots, and he needs to understand that he cant just hit/play every ball, leave some alone for God's sake! lol

  • tanveer sulaiman on October 24, 2006, 18:40 GMT

    not just two times it should be 4 times boom boom afridi, he is one man army, he is nation's pride, he is neighbours envy, he is an outstanding cricketer, he has a lot of enthusiasm, lot of spirit, and has a very good sportsmanship, i would like 2 c afridi opening the innings for pakistan, hopefully if he clicks he will be as destructive hell. he is my favourite cricketer, I LOVE SHAHID AFRIDI.

  • Mansoor Hussain on October 24, 2006, 18:22 GMT

    Agreed! Afridi has indicated many times that he is one of the senior players in the team, so let him prove it. People like Sanjay Manjrekar, who criticized sending Afridi in at number 5 in the Sri Lanka game, miss the point. A few overs of Afridi at that stage would have decisively swung the game in Pakistan’s favor. Another point that supports sending Afridi in earlier is that he can take the pitch out of the game for spinners, who invariably bowl the middle overs. And if Shoaib Malik comes after Afridi you can have him as insurance for the times Afridi will fail, which we all know he will - a lot.

  • Salman Shah on October 24, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    Afridi off late seems to be a fickle minded person.he does not look totally devoted .also in batting he is not trying to hit the ball straight as he usually does when on song.He has retorted to cross batted slogging and seems a shadow of himself.Whether psychological or technical problem has to be solved by coach,captain etc for we should not be deprived of boom boom

  • adnan gul baloch on October 24, 2006, 18:19 GMT

    I fully agreed that afridi should be prepared to bat at any number suggested by the think tanks, but we also should not forget that he has been severly succesful as a opener in asian pitches.

    in my view he should bat as a opener in coming one days to bring him back in form, we also should not always expect boom boom from him, as this could put him under presure.

  • Nisma on October 24, 2006, 18:17 GMT

    Afridi is a world-class hitter. And we are waiting for him to hit.Well in the kast match of Pakistan it was against srilanka I dont know why did the captain send him in when Muralitharan was bowling. It was a biggest mistake and we didn't see entertainment which we were waiting for. I think in sub-continental he should open so that if he played the wrong shot, there would be no danger.And the pressure will be on another team. I m a big fan of Afridi wheather he plays or not.He plays in his own way.

    Regard, Nisma Rafiq (KSA)

  • Usman on October 24, 2006, 18:13 GMT

    Kamran you are spot on about afridi being not used properly...why is he not being used within the powerplays...isnt that when all the field restrictions are on and if one of his misstimed shots go in the air there is some sort of chance of him not getting out early...he should be opening that batting int he subcontinent other places should be at the list to come in at # 3 or # 4.

  • Asif Lodhi on October 24, 2006, 18:11 GMT

    Afridi will rediscover his form in batting. However, I am writting to express my extreme anger on the cricinfo for allowing a loser like Kamran Abbasi to have his own blog. He is the biggest skunk in the world of sports. Please kick him out there are plenty of people, who strongly feel that Cricinfo has lost credibility by appointing such ridiclous individual.

  • Dr. Ahmad Arham on October 24, 2006, 18:08 GMT

    Afridi's rediscovery of his form will not only be good for Pakistani cricket, it will also generate the much needed excitement that the batting sides have lacked so far in the tournament!

  • Sabih ur rehman on October 24, 2006, 18:06 GMT

    Afridi should be given chance to open the inings because he can take advantage of power plays.

  • Ahmed on October 24, 2006, 18:06 GMT

    I think that Afridi should be given a certain target in mind perhaps, but really we havn't felt the need for Afridi in the team with the continued success of the simplistic but very effective Razzaq, but of course, when Afridi fires as well, its time to go to the underground shelter for the opposition. but sometimes he shouldn't be exposed to the new ball on pitches that seam and grip a bit.that wastes his talent.But if kept a bit down in the order, he can really be a potent force. His success down the order in Australia, is still fresh in my mind.Where he played really well and in the way, only he can.Audacious strokeplay with a cavalier attitude. Lets see if that will return against NZ, a bowling attack that would favour Afridi's style of batting, if the track doesn't seam too much.

  • Asif on October 24, 2006, 17:59 GMT

    I think that we have to be patient with Afridi. All those who are campaigning for his ouster are shortsighted. He is of tremendous value to the team. While most people tend to focus on his batting, his bowling is now of immense value. He bowls a tight line and length and is a wicket-taker. Add his electric fielding and the energy he brings to the team, and he becomes nearly indispensable. His batting failures do get frustrating at times, but every 5-6 matches he will play an innings that is a match winner. You just cannot ignore that. I was not aware of his insistence on coming in at #6. In the pitches of India and the West Indies, he will flourish in the top order. In any case, I think that Afridi is absolutely essential on this cricket team.

  • Fasih Khalili on October 24, 2006, 17:58 GMT

    There is no question about Afridi being special whether it is batting, balling or fielding. It is something which has been said and heard. We love him for that. He is amazingly talented and a crowd puller. What he needs to realise, spefcially at this stage of his career is that, he must come of age in his mental approach towards cricket as he is no more a rookie. Pulling himself out of test cricket dint help mature his approach towards the game because if anything test cricket is the cricket which stands testimonial to a players quality. Thats where the straight talking happens, and he has done it too in the past. I personally think, in the wider picture, he must take his test cricket very seriously and then there is no reason that he doesnot deserve to be part of any test side. Spanking the ball around for a swashbuckling 50 is the easier bit, it is just part of the package that comes with Afridi and once he is confident he can do that sleepwalking. All the best to him!

  • Auwais Ahmed on October 24, 2006, 17:58 GMT

    well in this trophy not many power hitters have gone well instead of Razzaq. i think pushing afridi up in the middle order will be a complete waste of him. and i dont think he should come up to open either beacuse Pakistan want a solid opening pair and I think they should always prefer Hafeez infront of Afridi for opening.

    If pakistan is chasing i think afridi should be held upto the point when the dew takes full effects and then he can blow NZ spinners apart

  • Cheri Powers on October 24, 2006, 17:54 GMT

    I agree that Afridi needs to get back into it but he also needs to exercise a little restraint and not give his wicket away so quickly. He is such a great hitter that it constantly disappoints when he is out within 15 minutes. And he is experienced enough that he doesn't have a good reason for getting out so quickly so often.

  • Hema Adhikari on October 24, 2006, 17:44 GMT

    Shahid Afridi believed in his reflexes and they often carried the day for him but as other reflex players can testify as players go older the reflex is the first deserter. hence boom boom from Shahid afridi again might just not happen and all fans should keep that in mind. ALso the other teams know that when afridi is in to bat bang it short of the length and that also has led to his downfall.

  • Saad Madani on October 24, 2006, 17:43 GMT

    Afridi was in superb form in Pakistans last tour of India. However, he did well batting up the order where he scored a blistering century, rather than coming lower down. Pakistan should think about making Afridi open or come in at no.3 Not only will his match winning ablitiy be fully utilized but also it will give the opposition alot to think and worry about in the start of the innings. His stats at various batting psitions shows this. The idea is to convert his lower order 'Boom' into an upper order 'Boom Boom'.

  • Azfar Shirazi on October 24, 2006, 17:43 GMT

    I have felt most of the time that Afridi is a go by luck batsman,sometimes he clicks and most of the time does not,but having said that he is a very utility cricketer for Pakistan a great fielder and a very good bowler who gets important break throughs. i think Afridi should be thought as murlitharan in respect of batting,although he is very gud than murli but he slogs the same way and can go anywhere in the park or out of the park. and yeah he is dew a BIG ONE...

  • Waqar Ahmad on October 24, 2006, 17:37 GMT

    I agree with Kamran Abbasi about giving Afridi more responsibility. Every player in a team has to contribute something, and when afridi is held back just because the team management doesnt have enough confidence in him, he becomes a liability rather than batsman that should be feared for his aggressive hitting. We saw how how he won and setup matches for us singlehandedly, in india for example when we won the third test to draw the series, and a couple of ODIs.There isd no use in shiedling a player, i say let him have a go in the middle and lowe rmiddle order, not after Number 6 certainly, and repose the same amount of confidence in him that was reposed in him earlier

  • Asim A. Hameed on October 24, 2006, 17:34 GMT

    Definitely, he's the sort of player who is always willing to have a go at the opposition and is never afraid of anyone. His talent can be used better if the team management listens to him and it backs him to play in his natural style, thats the afridi pakistan would love to have.

  • ayaz on October 24, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    Afridi has failed to raise his game while others around him have been adapting and maturing. I haven't seen him play a responsible innings for a long time perhaps as far back as when he was reselected after a long layoff. He reminds me of Ejaz Ahmed - a cricketer who would come good just when he is about to get dropped.

  • Bilal on October 24, 2006, 17:27 GMT

    Well a dose of boom-boom does go a long way, and it is needless to mention Afridi's deep in form, although i feel his bowling is perfectly fine, his batting is what is suffering.

    He is for me opening, or coming out during the powerplays, no where else because when the field is spread his effectivness goes down completely. As for most of us Pakistan cricket fans, all we can do is hope that the boom-boom comes to the party during the champions trophy.

  • kanishk Sharma on October 24, 2006, 17:27 GMT

    Afrid is an unique talent and i totally agree with you about Afridi needing to adapt mentally. He is the type of cricketer that can win you matches but all he has to do is believe in himself. The captain has to believe in his potential and give him more responsibility and i am sure Afridi will be very successful.

  • Wasim Ghumro on October 24, 2006, 17:20 GMT

    I personally dont understand why a guy who scored the second fastest century the last time he was in India is not opening again on the same tracks. He should be sent to open- what can we lose? You either have a flying start, the other team's confidence is dented and rest of our batsmen can build on Afridi's start OR he fails and Hafeez or Farhat walks in after 4.3 overs which would be almost as if they're opening the innings.

  • Usama Sarwar on October 24, 2006, 17:09 GMT

    I think Afridi is a great utility cricketer. If he didn't bowl, it might have been difficult to give him a permanent spot in the team. But still, he is a bit of a maverick. And I guess we can afford one maverick in the team, specially if he brings with him the reputation that Afridi does. I've learned to appreciate Afridi the way he is. Even if he doesn't quite produce the goods with the bat, he does enough with the ball so that he isnt considered a total waste. The problem is that the team can't possibly be built around him. So he can't really decide where he should be at the cost of the team. Number 6 is the spot where every team places its finisher. For Paksitan, that is a role that can be fulfilled by either Razzaq or Shoaib Malik. Afridi can finish a game, and pretty early at that, but he is not a finisher in the real sense of the word. So I agree with Mr. Abbasi. He needs to realize that the team is bigger than him. Not every situation is the same. I understand where he's coming from. He's very right in saying that he has a very specific role when he's out there with the bat, and he needs a certain license if he wishes to carry out the required tasks effectively. But the team can't afford to change their game plan and/or strategy just to utilize him better. He needs to change his approach(not his style though) to make the most of the situation.

  • Kiran Pirzada on October 24, 2006, 17:07 GMT

    I totally agree Kamran. Afridi has been off color for a while, however I think he is best suited at number 6, after Shoaib Malik. Hafeez and Farhat should continue to open, and if either gets out before the first power play is taken, then perhaps Afridi can be sent in at number 3 to go for the big hits. Otherwise, I think number 6 is the best place for him to bat. He cant be a consistent opener - and our batting is still quite shaky...if we lose a couple of early wickets, we go under preassure. So..therefore its been to stick with 2 regular openers in Hafeez and Farhat/Butt because at least they would be properly equipped to handle the new ball and therefore have more of a chance to give us consistently good opening starts than Afridi would.

  • Zaman on October 24, 2006, 17:05 GMT

    Cricket players are always known by their special trait. If someone said that Gavasker or Boycott made the innings like a century in 60 balls, it wouldn't be believable. So with Afridi, if it is said that he made 1 run in 14 balls, it won't be believable. It is the time for Afridi to play his own game so that he could find his form.He should be batting in his own style which made him the player of ODI of this days.

  • Shahid on October 24, 2006, 17:02 GMT

    Kamran, i dont know what unique talent you are talking about. Unique talent in failing at international level where you been for almost 10 years and you havent learned from your follies or a unique talent in being successful to just purely live to the expectations of the fans and not for the teams sake. Understood fans do want BOOM BOOM but you have to realize what your team wants from you. Back home in Pakistan, go out in the streets of Rawalpindi, lahore and karachi and you will find better hitters than Afridi. I was glad when he retired, which once again showed that his self interest is more important than the teams. He purely lives for the charisma that cricket brings into his life. If its just about bits and peices cricket (some batting, some bowling, and some fielding) then i guess we should go with Imran Nazir. The spot in the team that has been taken by Afridi can be better utilized by Imran who is a far better cricketer than Afridi. Afridi's place in the team is a pure waste of space. Afridi being in the team purely reflects our criteria of selection not only in cricket but in other departments of life. We should move towards a criteria where only acheivement brings reward. I hope we can learn from that. Enough is enough and 10 years at the top level is more than enough.

  • Aftab Amin on October 24, 2006, 17:02 GMT

    Afridi is a star,no doubt about that, but he throws his wicket away far too often. I remember the match that he played in when Pakistan last toured India. He smacked his way to a 100 in no time, not even his fellow team mates could avoid a sheepish smile when he hit a 6 or 4, he was in the zone. But after his blasting he wasted his wicket and gave it away ironically playing a defensive shot to Harbhajan Singh. He has the umph but lacks the defense. I believe its only a matter of time when we see him back in the zone and ready to blast anything that comes at him. Wish him best of luck and thank you Kamran for this blog appreciate it very much.

  • Umer Farooq on October 24, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    I think Afrida is valuable to the team as a wicket-taking bowler and an agile fielder. By no means is he a "mature" cricketer in terms of batting. Maturity doesn't come with time but with skill development.

    As a bastman, Afridi is simply a gamble. Even when he scores runs, I am nervously biting my nails, waiting for the silly shot he's going to attempt and get out. Of course I don't mind the runs he contributes occasionally, but then who would mind getting a few good hands in poker and winning the pot.

    I agree with Kamran that Afridi needs to be prepared to bat at any position depending on the team situation. And by any standard, I am not suggesting he is not valuable. He certainly is critical to our team - but reliably only as a bowler and fielder.

  • Ashwin Natarajan on October 24, 2006, 16:55 GMT

    I dont believe the pitches in West Indies would be tailor made for Afridi If the pitches in the series between India And WestIndies are of any indication. Wickets would be slow and low and Afridi would continue to struggle

  • Ahmad Siddiqui on October 24, 2006, 16:54 GMT

    I think Afridi lower down the order suits pakistan. When Afridi is promoted up the order and he gets out early, Pakistan ends up in a lot of unnecessary pressure. All the next incoming batsmen feel it. This has been tried a lot of times in the past. I think our cricketers shoud learn to put their personal interests aside and think positively towards the benefits as a team. Afridi down the order has produced better results for Pakistan than Afridi up the order. And he can come in last ten overs and show his BOOM BOOM, if he got any!

  • Mustafa Chagla on October 24, 2006, 16:54 GMT

    Afridi is best suited to bat at the opening position. and if he is given a consecutive run of 4-5 innings at the top, there is no doubt in my mind that the Boom Boom will return. Thats how he got his groove back a couple of years back when Bob Woolmer backed him to open the innings.

  • Ather on October 24, 2006, 16:51 GMT

    Well, the question which need to be asked is whether Afridi still has the passion to the game. It seems he has lost the passion. Now in my opinion, you loose passion either if you have been demotivated or you are satisfied in your life outside of cricket that the motivation is just not there.

    Any team would love to have Afridi, regardless of his inconsistent batting. What needs to be asecertained is what clicks him so the batting, and possibly, the batting can be ignited again.

  • Pravinn on October 24, 2006, 16:40 GMT

    I totally agree with you on all points. I am a big fan of him. One thing i would like to add is that he needs to use his head bit more. I have seen him more than once getting out trying hit 2nd or 3rd six in the same over. Pravinn

  • Danish Asif on October 24, 2006, 16:34 GMT

    very well writen article, and indeed being a Pakistani fan I do miss the boom boom BUT it's the bowling of Afridi that has brought doom doom for the batting attacks.... Afridi is an allrounder and I reckon him to have more runs and wickets then most major names of allrounder world by the time he retires...

  • Omar Ansari on October 24, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    I think the reason Afridi retired from Test cricket a while back was due to the lack of support, he played like a champ in the india/pak test series and was looking like a man in form when he got dropped from the final 11 that were to play against Srilanka.

    He temporarily retired as he obviously felt his efforts were going to waste, but then again, he got selected in the final 11 that was going to play against England, he batted irresponsibly there though, I guess he knew that it didn’t matter how well he performed, because either way his place in the team wasn’t guaranteed.

    Pakistan has to realize he has the talent required to perform in both forms of cricket, and they should do everything they can to guarantee his place in the final 11...

    I just hope Afridi regains his composure there in India and bangs Pakistan to an exciting victory…

  • Armughan on October 24, 2006, 16:26 GMT

    Afridi's form with the ball has been good but he needs to get his Sher in action. If he can curb his instincts for a dozen balls and play with a straight bat, I think half of the champions trophy is in the bag. He is the most dangerous hitter cricket has ever seen and like Inzamam, he perhaps has not realized his complete potential. If tommorow is his day, Kiwis might well be looking for cover. Lets see what happens next!

  • ZAIN UL HAQUE on October 24, 2006, 16:17 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is now a veteran of more than 200 ODIs and therefore he should act mature, especially as a batsman. Although, he can be adjusted anywhere in the batting order, however at times he has been misused which lead to his confidence being shattered. Whatever the situation is, if it is his day, he can turn the match in Pakistan's favour. Hence he should be used carefully.

  • Raza on October 24, 2006, 16:15 GMT

    Thats so true Mr Abbasi, the whole of Pakistan simply love Afridi's style! Even if he just scores about 20 runs in his innings, his appearance at the crease is probably the highest point of climax in the whole match. Theres no doubt we all love the special ability Afridi has, and even if he doesn't show the Boom Boom with the bat, he contributes with the ball by taking handy wickets.

    Afridi is such a handy asset to the Pakistan Cricket team, let's pray to God that he finds his special touch again.

  • aftab on October 24, 2006, 16:03 GMT

    I agree with your comments but afridi need to calm down and hold nerves before hitting out at each ball, need to asses the situation of game and team position.

  • Amer Hussain on October 24, 2006, 15:56 GMT

    A man after my own heart! Shahid's destructiveness is awesome to watch, but as you have pointed out, of late it has been missing. He needs to rediscover that spirit and spark that makes him one of the World's greats. He will come good - of that there is no doubt, the question is when and will we get more of the consistency that we saw in the home series against England and India?

    One thing is for sure, he is a vital part of Pakistan's squad, and will be for another few years yet - his legspin alone is just enough to get him in the team. It's the batting that we need though and a quick fire fifty against the Kiwis or Springboks would not go unnoticed.

    A question - do you think that Afridi would make a good ODI captain? With Inzi retiring after the World Cup, would Pakistan be served better by having Younis captaining the Test team and Afridi the ODI team. You mention that he needs the responsibility - what greater responsibility than captaincy? I personally think that this might temper his natural game - which for a spectator would be not ideal, but if it contributes to success for Pakistan then it might just be an answer.

  • Khalid Ahmed on October 24, 2006, 15:55 GMT

    Afridi is a Gambler, All Gamblers can have good runs, like he has for over a year now. His lucky streak is over!

  • Anuj on October 24, 2006, 15:47 GMT

    I agree.

    Afridi is best when he is going BOOM BOOM. There is no other way for him.

    He casts fears as he walks in the middle with his bat in hand. He has to maintain the same way and aura around him.

    I would love to see him hit 6,6,6,4,2,6 in an over. I dont care even if he does the same against India (Yes, I am from India LOL).

    I am a big fan of Afridi's batting. Go Afridi Go ....

  • Omar Haq on October 24, 2006, 15:35 GMT

    Arfidi is too unpredictable. He takes up the spot of a specialist batsman. We already have some firey allrounders like Shoaib Malik and Razzak. In the interest of the team, he must be dropped from the one day side. He leaks too many runs while bowling, isn't incisive enough, and although I hate to say it, I'd rather have a specialist batsman with an average of 40 and a strike rate of 75, then Afridi...

  • Avais Khalid on October 24, 2006, 15:25 GMT

    Agreed with most of your comments - I still do believe that number 6 is the spot for Afridi. The thing about Afridi is not only his batting but the fact that he also chips in with his bowling getting the odd couple of wickets here and there. He ups the over rate - creates pressure with his bowling and takes some marvellous catches – making him a valuable team player. I also agree that he has looked distracted and that he needs one good innings to get him back to his old self. And now he has a chance to do exactly that in India! The coach and the captain need to keep working with him and persist with him to get him into the frame of mind he was in last year!

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  • Avais Khalid on October 24, 2006, 15:25 GMT

    Agreed with most of your comments - I still do believe that number 6 is the spot for Afridi. The thing about Afridi is not only his batting but the fact that he also chips in with his bowling getting the odd couple of wickets here and there. He ups the over rate - creates pressure with his bowling and takes some marvellous catches – making him a valuable team player. I also agree that he has looked distracted and that he needs one good innings to get him back to his old self. And now he has a chance to do exactly that in India! The coach and the captain need to keep working with him and persist with him to get him into the frame of mind he was in last year!

  • Omar Haq on October 24, 2006, 15:35 GMT

    Arfidi is too unpredictable. He takes up the spot of a specialist batsman. We already have some firey allrounders like Shoaib Malik and Razzak. In the interest of the team, he must be dropped from the one day side. He leaks too many runs while bowling, isn't incisive enough, and although I hate to say it, I'd rather have a specialist batsman with an average of 40 and a strike rate of 75, then Afridi...

  • Anuj on October 24, 2006, 15:47 GMT

    I agree.

    Afridi is best when he is going BOOM BOOM. There is no other way for him.

    He casts fears as he walks in the middle with his bat in hand. He has to maintain the same way and aura around him.

    I would love to see him hit 6,6,6,4,2,6 in an over. I dont care even if he does the same against India (Yes, I am from India LOL).

    I am a big fan of Afridi's batting. Go Afridi Go ....

  • Khalid Ahmed on October 24, 2006, 15:55 GMT

    Afridi is a Gambler, All Gamblers can have good runs, like he has for over a year now. His lucky streak is over!

  • Amer Hussain on October 24, 2006, 15:56 GMT

    A man after my own heart! Shahid's destructiveness is awesome to watch, but as you have pointed out, of late it has been missing. He needs to rediscover that spirit and spark that makes him one of the World's greats. He will come good - of that there is no doubt, the question is when and will we get more of the consistency that we saw in the home series against England and India?

    One thing is for sure, he is a vital part of Pakistan's squad, and will be for another few years yet - his legspin alone is just enough to get him in the team. It's the batting that we need though and a quick fire fifty against the Kiwis or Springboks would not go unnoticed.

    A question - do you think that Afridi would make a good ODI captain? With Inzi retiring after the World Cup, would Pakistan be served better by having Younis captaining the Test team and Afridi the ODI team. You mention that he needs the responsibility - what greater responsibility than captaincy? I personally think that this might temper his natural game - which for a spectator would be not ideal, but if it contributes to success for Pakistan then it might just be an answer.

  • aftab on October 24, 2006, 16:03 GMT

    I agree with your comments but afridi need to calm down and hold nerves before hitting out at each ball, need to asses the situation of game and team position.

  • Raza on October 24, 2006, 16:15 GMT

    Thats so true Mr Abbasi, the whole of Pakistan simply love Afridi's style! Even if he just scores about 20 runs in his innings, his appearance at the crease is probably the highest point of climax in the whole match. Theres no doubt we all love the special ability Afridi has, and even if he doesn't show the Boom Boom with the bat, he contributes with the ball by taking handy wickets.

    Afridi is such a handy asset to the Pakistan Cricket team, let's pray to God that he finds his special touch again.

  • ZAIN UL HAQUE on October 24, 2006, 16:17 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is now a veteran of more than 200 ODIs and therefore he should act mature, especially as a batsman. Although, he can be adjusted anywhere in the batting order, however at times he has been misused which lead to his confidence being shattered. Whatever the situation is, if it is his day, he can turn the match in Pakistan's favour. Hence he should be used carefully.

  • Armughan on October 24, 2006, 16:26 GMT

    Afridi's form with the ball has been good but he needs to get his Sher in action. If he can curb his instincts for a dozen balls and play with a straight bat, I think half of the champions trophy is in the bag. He is the most dangerous hitter cricket has ever seen and like Inzamam, he perhaps has not realized his complete potential. If tommorow is his day, Kiwis might well be looking for cover. Lets see what happens next!

  • Omar Ansari on October 24, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    I think the reason Afridi retired from Test cricket a while back was due to the lack of support, he played like a champ in the india/pak test series and was looking like a man in form when he got dropped from the final 11 that were to play against Srilanka.

    He temporarily retired as he obviously felt his efforts were going to waste, but then again, he got selected in the final 11 that was going to play against England, he batted irresponsibly there though, I guess he knew that it didn’t matter how well he performed, because either way his place in the team wasn’t guaranteed.

    Pakistan has to realize he has the talent required to perform in both forms of cricket, and they should do everything they can to guarantee his place in the final 11...

    I just hope Afridi regains his composure there in India and bangs Pakistan to an exciting victory…