Mike Holmans July 16, 2010

The case for Shahid Afridi's assault

I have already pleaded guilty to holding Shahid Afridi in high esteem – I am, if you like, a Boom Boom Boy biased towards seeing his actions in the best light – but I thought his innings an entirely rational choice in the circumstances obtaining at
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The Pakistan v Australia Test has confirmed that I live in a different universe to the one Henry Blofeld inhabits. As I sat atop the Pavilion on Wednesday evening with the radio commentary on my earpiece, I heard him describe Shahid Afridi's cameo earlier on as “a quite disgraceful innings.”

In my world, “disgraceful” implies some breach of decency or morality, and I fail to see how an innings of thirty in ten minutes is a breach of either. Had he cover-driven the bowler rather than the ball or spent ten minutes audibly and obscenely haranguing the umpire, “disgraceful” would certainly be appropriate, but there is no moral turpitude in hitting sixes or holing out at mid-off. Anyone who thinks there is has, at least in my view, a badly malfunctioning moral compass. Where I come from, the worst you can say of Afridi's innings is that it was stupid or reckless or irresponsible.

Not that I would, as a matter of fact. I have already pleaded guilty to holding Shahid Afridi in high esteem – I am, if you like, a Boom Boom Boy biased towards seeing his actions in the best light – but I thought his innings an entirely rational choice in the circumstances obtaining at the time. I am perfectly willing to listen to an argument that it wasn't, but it had better be a convincing one.

When he came in, Pakistan were still 170 behind with only the tail to come. Five out of the top six had already failed. While Kamran Akmal's dismissal in particular was down to total incompetence on his part, two or three of the others had certainly succumbed to balls which were almost unplayable. The ball was swinging around and seaming, so that good balls were made dangerous and excellent balls close to lethal. Survival for any length of time demanded a solid defensive technique and a decent helping of luck (both of which Salman Butt had displayed).

Knowing that he is not a defensive batsman in the Rahul-Dravid class, Afridi would surely have realised that it was likely to be less than an hour before some holy terror of a ball arrived to end his innings. The question for him, therefore, was how best to use what little time he had.

Presumably the morally-approved choice on Planet Blofeld would have been to attempt to dig in and play cautiously, blocking here, nudging there and hitting the odd, very bad ball for four. If he did well, he could have hung around and scored 25 off 60 before the inevitable jaffa sprayed its juice over him. For most batsmen, it might well have been the only sound option.

But Boom Boom Afridi had another course open to him. He is one of the very few people who could try mounting an all-out assault like Ian Botham's at Headingley in 1981 or Nathan Astle's at Christchurch in 2002, and have a modest chance of success. Granted, reaching a hundred or two as they did was very unlikely, but in the circumstances Afridi was facing, where he could expect to score no more than about 25 anyway, reaching even 20 would leave his team no worse off. And if he could get 70 or more, he would have changed the game's momentum. Only if he failed completely would he have done real damage to his side's cause.

Had things been different, I might have much more reason to criticise. Were he batting ahead of the English or South African tails which contain the likes of Swann, Steyn, Morkel or Bresnan, there could well have been more mileage in trying to hang around. If Pakistan had been 17 behind rather than 170, digging in until they were about 20 ahead and then launching an assault would have been my recommendation.

But things were not different, and so I am entirely content with his choice.

And that, my friends, concludes the case for the attack.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohammad Asad on July 28, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Still he was the 2nd highest scorer....... I think he did the right thing in that situation... Well done....

  • Umar Pervaiz on July 20, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Excellent Article.. Afridi is an Excellent Player.. And the innings he played of thirty odd runs was not disgraceful..

  • Sarwar Naqvi on July 19, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Afridi is simply an attacking player. If and when he goes on the defensive, he fails. So it is best for him to play his game - attack all the time. However, choosing him as captain was wrong because one does need to play by example for the sake of one's team. Afridi does not have that temperament. He should play at number 5 or 6 with SOME patience - hitting out in his very first over was really not the thing to do especially with so many more runs remaining. Also, I think he should have announced his retirement from test cricket AFTER completing his tour of England. However, he SHOULD indeed continue to play ODIs and Twenty20's. I do wish him luck.

  • mohammad on July 18, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    i read some of the ariticles send by diefferent freinds.

    but i have my own idea. iam very unhappy at his decesion of retirement from the test matches, any more.

    he should stand as captain, he should lead the side, he is recently the most experienced member of the team. so, he should not left his side alone. for the sake of country respect he should play test cricket as it needs to be play. only hitting the ball with close eyes is not a professional game

  • Tahir on July 17, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    afridi have abiliti to stay but slector and management wrong

  • Shaq on July 16, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Exactly! No point in trying to be someone you are not! If the only way you know how to bat is to attack (and we have seen enough over the last 15 yrs to know that), then you are better off going with your style of batting. Its an all together different debate that PCB has killed Pakistani cricket!

    I am surprised cricinfo let you put this article up! :)

    Thanks!

  • Fit_for_the_Test on July 16, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Absolutely invalid argument.

    This "Oh. I'm sorry, but this is the way I play. Take it or leave it" excuse is overdone and baseless. Tell me, if Hilfenhaus and Bollinger (you can hardly call them batsmen) can grind it out and fight, why cant Afridi? This vicious unplayable pitch was pretty much the same for them too.

    After all this, Afridi gets out in the same way in the second innings. Slog to deep midwicket in the fifth ball of his innings!! Are you kidding? Fifth ball!??

  • Shafiq Hamid on July 16, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    The Cricketing talent that Pakistan possess has never been in any doubt – ask any of the cricket playing countries and they will tell you how envious they are of what Pakistan keeps coming up with – Umar Akmal, Mohamed Amer are just some of the more recent finds.

    The problem in Pakistan is with Cricket administration – Mr. Zardari (less said about him the better!) is happy with Ijaz Butt to run PCB and poor Mr. I Butt would struggle to run a bath! Politics being involved in sports has never been a good idea and never will.

    In order to qualify running a cricket board – you either MUST have some common sense or extensive modern day cricketing background. A little of both would be ideal.

    Mr. Izaj but very clearly doesn’t have common sense (or any sense) and having played a few matches in the late 1950’s doesn’t help him at all. He is clearly arrogant and just wants a position of authority and has no love for the game.

    Afridi did the right thing and should have never listened to brainl

  • Sam on July 16, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    30 runs of 10 balls or so is not an assault ..It's a storm in a teacup !!!

  • Nimz on July 16, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    Dear sir, I welcome your comments in light boom boom's strategy to occupying the crease in the first innings. It certainly isn't in the conventional approach that one would find in the (hypothetical) Englishmans guide to Test Match cricket. However, to see the look on the Aussie's face as Watson disappeared to all parts of the park was a truely momentous occasion. However, his second innings was far from attractive and the root question beg's....what is he doing captaining a Pakistan TEST team when he can't follow the Test match discipline. I have great addmiration for the fact he has gracefully bowed out but I don't think it was right for him to be in this predicament. I would have loved it though if BOOM BOOM did find Test match cricket to his liking....bringing back the good old days of West Indian brash hitting! Good luck to the Afridi which ever way he decides to hold his bat!

  • Mohammad Asad on July 28, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Still he was the 2nd highest scorer....... I think he did the right thing in that situation... Well done....

  • Umar Pervaiz on July 20, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Excellent Article.. Afridi is an Excellent Player.. And the innings he played of thirty odd runs was not disgraceful..

  • Sarwar Naqvi on July 19, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Afridi is simply an attacking player. If and when he goes on the defensive, he fails. So it is best for him to play his game - attack all the time. However, choosing him as captain was wrong because one does need to play by example for the sake of one's team. Afridi does not have that temperament. He should play at number 5 or 6 with SOME patience - hitting out in his very first over was really not the thing to do especially with so many more runs remaining. Also, I think he should have announced his retirement from test cricket AFTER completing his tour of England. However, he SHOULD indeed continue to play ODIs and Twenty20's. I do wish him luck.

  • mohammad on July 18, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    i read some of the ariticles send by diefferent freinds.

    but i have my own idea. iam very unhappy at his decesion of retirement from the test matches, any more.

    he should stand as captain, he should lead the side, he is recently the most experienced member of the team. so, he should not left his side alone. for the sake of country respect he should play test cricket as it needs to be play. only hitting the ball with close eyes is not a professional game

  • Tahir on July 17, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    afridi have abiliti to stay but slector and management wrong

  • Shaq on July 16, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Exactly! No point in trying to be someone you are not! If the only way you know how to bat is to attack (and we have seen enough over the last 15 yrs to know that), then you are better off going with your style of batting. Its an all together different debate that PCB has killed Pakistani cricket!

    I am surprised cricinfo let you put this article up! :)

    Thanks!

  • Fit_for_the_Test on July 16, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Absolutely invalid argument.

    This "Oh. I'm sorry, but this is the way I play. Take it or leave it" excuse is overdone and baseless. Tell me, if Hilfenhaus and Bollinger (you can hardly call them batsmen) can grind it out and fight, why cant Afridi? This vicious unplayable pitch was pretty much the same for them too.

    After all this, Afridi gets out in the same way in the second innings. Slog to deep midwicket in the fifth ball of his innings!! Are you kidding? Fifth ball!??

  • Shafiq Hamid on July 16, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    The Cricketing talent that Pakistan possess has never been in any doubt – ask any of the cricket playing countries and they will tell you how envious they are of what Pakistan keeps coming up with – Umar Akmal, Mohamed Amer are just some of the more recent finds.

    The problem in Pakistan is with Cricket administration – Mr. Zardari (less said about him the better!) is happy with Ijaz Butt to run PCB and poor Mr. I Butt would struggle to run a bath! Politics being involved in sports has never been a good idea and never will.

    In order to qualify running a cricket board – you either MUST have some common sense or extensive modern day cricketing background. A little of both would be ideal.

    Mr. Izaj but very clearly doesn’t have common sense (or any sense) and having played a few matches in the late 1950’s doesn’t help him at all. He is clearly arrogant and just wants a position of authority and has no love for the game.

    Afridi did the right thing and should have never listened to brainl

  • Sam on July 16, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    30 runs of 10 balls or so is not an assault ..It's a storm in a teacup !!!

  • Nimz on July 16, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    Dear sir, I welcome your comments in light boom boom's strategy to occupying the crease in the first innings. It certainly isn't in the conventional approach that one would find in the (hypothetical) Englishmans guide to Test Match cricket. However, to see the look on the Aussie's face as Watson disappeared to all parts of the park was a truely momentous occasion. However, his second innings was far from attractive and the root question beg's....what is he doing captaining a Pakistan TEST team when he can't follow the Test match discipline. I have great addmiration for the fact he has gracefully bowed out but I don't think it was right for him to be in this predicament. I would have loved it though if BOOM BOOM did find Test match cricket to his liking....bringing back the good old days of West Indian brash hitting! Good luck to the Afridi which ever way he decides to hold his bat!

  • ahmed on July 16, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    when he did it he already made his decission to leave test cricket. He did it because he was captain and he does not want to play test cricket in future. It will be a big mistake from PCB if he still plays the next test.

  • Nasser on July 16, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Mike;I have to disagree with you, although most respondents seem not to. However, since nearly all are Pakistanis, I am not surprised. I am a Pakistani too but believe in calling a spade a spade.

    Afridi may be good enough to play test cricket because he is a good bowler, a good fielder, and overall a good captain, but batting skills at this level are non-existent. He has on the odd occasion batted with dedication and concentration and hit out when it was needed - example:T20 final in 2009; but these have been too few and far between. Test cricket is a 5-day affair and not half a day affair as a T20 - simple! If he had scored the 31 runs in 80 balls rather than 15 balls, it would have meant that he would have used up more time and also given support to the other batsman, and showed Australia that Pakistan knows how to fight if not win. Just giving up without a fight shows cowardice and lack of balls.

  • Faran on July 16, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    I really wish I could get this across to Afridi. Please dont take this match to your heart, rethink about your decison! Just for argument sake, think about it from this point of view, lets compare his performance with Australia's captain. In both the innings Afridi scored more than Ponting. In both the innings Afridi contributed with the ball, but Ponting couldnt. Yet did Ponting think of leaving test cricket!?! And about captaincy, Afridi did a great job leading the team. This was a very tough task with very young players having little or no international experience. And on top of that this was also Afridi's first test match after four years! Loss was inevitable, no sensible unbiased man would put his money on a young inexperienced team, against the aussies who already have a splendid test record against Pak. It would be very unfair for anyone to put the responsibility of the loss on Afridi. He should not at all take this match to his heart! This could be the greatest loss to cricket!

  • Waquar on July 16, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Afridi is just not cut out to be a test cricketer. He never was. In the previous occasions, the pak team had players like Inzi, Yousuf, Saeed Anwar, Younus to score the bulk of runs and so the quickfire 20-30 from Afridi was pseudo-justified. But with this Pak team? With no experience other than Butt; and the mercurial Akmal bros, I dont think Afridi should even be in the team, let alone being the captain. I am happy to know his decision to call it quits in test cricket. Now he can do what he's decent in doing - playing shorter version of the game. Perhaps his exploits would be best realized in 6-a-side tourneys where the matches are 5-overs-a-side.

  • Anand on July 16, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    I agree the article revolves around "disgraceful" Vs "stupid or reckless or irresponsible". I will be curious what everybody have to say after Afridis Fridays performance.

    Mike dont forget the point here is not just to make 30 runs in 15 balls in that situation. I feel the most important point is .. not only a senior member but being captain of the side ..what example he puts for the juniors around .. I would have been more happy to see him scored 15 in 60 balls than 30 in 15. Dont you think that would have set the right tone & message to the youngsters in the team. May not be that inning but the inning that followed & the tests to follow. Umar Akmal just followed Afridi's footsteps in 2nd inning. Disgraceful is the situation when I see him raising eyebrows over simillar shots played by others.

    So yes "Disgraceful" is very well justfied.

  • Allan DeSouza on July 16, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Afridi should stick with T20. It was totally irresponsible of him to play in that manner in both innings. He didn't even try to stay on the wicket. If he is only good enough to score 30 runs, then why is he on the team. I'm sure there is a line of other batsman who are willing to at least try and score more than 30 runs. Look at Austrialia's tail. Even they score for than 50 runs every now and then. Patheic excuse.

  • Adnan on July 16, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    Hmm Afridilogy and Mike you seems to be a first Graduate in this Major. His test inning might have started if the catch was dropped but he ended up with his T20 inning in a test match. Afridi attacks untill he gets a chance by dropped catch, a close clean bold or lbw then he starting caring other stuff like captency, win, cricket etc. He is not a test captain because of his 100 for 300 balls.

    And You know why we rush to get home and watch a test inning of a batsman you know why because of 31 for 15 balls.

  • Anonymous on July 16, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Afridi is no "afraid-i" ... he did well under the circumstsances playing his natural game ... actually defensive cricket would have been his bane....

  • hubert on July 16, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    What nonsense. Proven to be nonsense by his identical dismissal in the second innings! You're presupposing he would have gotten out cheaply by batting sensibly, and excusing him for basically giving up before even trying! He was batting with Salman Butt - not some bunny tail ender. He owed it to Butt (and his team) to knuckle down and play properly, not start swinging from ball one. By all means play attackingly if that's your game, but choose your shots. He smacks a brilliant six then very next ball tries to hit a good length ball out of the ground. Madness! If Hilfenhaus can knuckle down and score runs then it shouldn't be beyond Afridi.

    Afridi ain't nothing but a selfish slogger. Always wanting to be the hero. What a goose.

  • Barry on July 16, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    Absolutely right. Better do go down fighting, taking a chance on success, than bogging down and making sure of failure. No way Pakistan could have won playing defence, all out assault an unlikely chance, but small chance better than nothing

  • Erik Pohl on July 16, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    I hope you are going to re-do this blog after that shocking second innings performance. While he is obviously an attacking batsman, you can not justify slogging your fourth ball like you're auditioning for the IPL. Blowers said it was disgraceful for a number of reasons, but the most important is that it was all the things you have mentioned (I'm talking about the first innings now), it was stupid, reckless and irresponsible. All of those things that a captain should not be. It was a disgrace to the whole team.

  • zak on July 16, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Shahid dont be embarce . come fight man. i hate losers u hv to learn from this . thats all . u have good average in test cricket . what the hell u made 31 in ten mins other players stay there for few hours to score that much . it is okay . stick to your plan just play u will win next game , INSHA ALLAH

  • Zak on July 16, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    hi all i read all the comments here. i dont understand u all. he played rocking inning end with miss judge shot. he is sorry for it. however i am just listening to ramiz raza he is sound like one of pakistani polition changes his statement. hahahahha.

    i think shahid should take time and still lead the country in test match . it will be big loss for country. this is fight he has to stand for it. he should go back on aussie face and fight back . you cant just give up . come on be a PATHAN . be strong and be a man play .

    God help those who help themselve

  • Matto on July 16, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    I'm an Aussie who loves cricket!! I love to watch Pakistan play as they have the ability to be the best in the world. Here is my point. There is no excuse for a captain to throw his wicket away for 1 run or 100 runs. He is the pillar of the team if he acts reckless others will follow. Many posts accuse Aussie captains of being arrogant yet i cannot recall one that threw his wicket away for a big bash or front page headlines. Afridi did that, he threw his wicket away in both innings and his team mates followed. Arrogance and a lack of respect for his team and country is why and if the captain acts this way so will his team as they will follow by example not by words. When the Pakistan team overcome this mentality they will be world champions. Sorry Mike Holmans your wrong, if you were right Pakistan would have won.

  • Stevie down under on July 16, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    I didn't seen the innings (as much as I would have liked to), but from what I've seen of Afridi, this is hardly a 'disgraceful' batting effort, but simply the way he plays the game, and in the context of the match situation, probably not a bad way to go about things. For my mind, in Test cricket he'd be an ideal number 7 or 8 if his bowling was more a little more dangerous. He employs the Shane Warne method of attacking with the bat; throwing everything including the kitchen sink at it! But, alas, his bowling *isn't* in the same league. I'm fascinated to see how Boom Boom copes with the rigors of this form of the game - could he ever bat out the final session with one wicket to spare for an unlikely draw? :)

  • Umair on July 16, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Well written. Thank you!

  • Bipin on July 16, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    How do you justify his brilliant innings in the second innings then? With a whole day remaining in the test, he could have played a responsible captain innings and foster partnerships with the tailenders and could have won the match for Pakistan! I reckon Afridi innings in both the innings lacked any logic whatsoever.

  • Rashid Ansari on July 16, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I think it was a stupid way of playing a test match innings, Afridi should have stayed longer at the crease and should have aimed at making 100 runs for his team and the country.

    He played the most stupid shot as well in the second innings- what he was doing, for God sake, he only faced just 4 balls and did not realize that his team needs him to stay there.

    I have no idea in which direction Pakistan cricket is heading!!!

  • Eacbie on July 16, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Afridi is beyond a disgrace, the man is an embarrassment.

  • SN on July 16, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    I would have agreed with you if this was Club Cricket match and we were discussing about some guy playing Gali Cricket in Pakistan but this is Test Cricket and we are talking about Pakistan captain who is playing and captaining in this Team as a batsman. Afridi has played more than 400 international games and I do expect more determination and effort and more resposible innings from Pakistan Captain.

    PCB have made a big mistake again by choosing him as Test Captain/player. In my view, Shahid Afridi should have been gone from any international Cricket long time ago and we should have played someone with more talent and stronger mind.

    A lot of people think that Afridi has a very strong mind; he proved again in this innings that he is still very immature and doesn't deserve his place in this Team.

    I liked Azhar Ali's 2nd innings, Pakistan need more young talent like Aamer and need to get rid of below average players like Afridi/Farhat/S.Malik and find the some new young talent.

  • Tanzeel on July 16, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Anyone who believes that a case can be made for Afridi's selection in a test team, let alone that atrocity of an innings and his lamentable captaincy quite frankly has no business writing for a reputable(arguable since the ESPN takeover) online publication like cricinfo.

  • Rocky Shaw on July 16, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    WHat do you have to say after Afridi's second innings assault lasting for 4 balls? You can not argue that Afridi is not expected to bat and expecatation is for him to contribute only 30-35 runs!!! This a Test match & more so ever, there is no other senior player in the team to play responsibly, the call of the day (in first & second inning) is to stay on the crease, rotate strike and lead / support the lower half of the fragile batting. The 50+ stand between Kamran & Aameer suggest that, if Afridi had lasted few hours in the company of Kamran, Pak could have sniffed a chnace. This is not 20/20, if he doesn't have technique to bat in the Test, then let him not waste a position!!!!

  • indianfan on July 16, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    how about if afridi could stay at the crease for longer time like other captions and make the assuies tired.and partenrship here and there like assuies did.but no brain after all.wake up afridi.its not 20-20 anymore.its test cricket.if he can't stay at the crease then why not pick someone else who can.like younis khan.afridi hardly bowl any good ball in the game anyway

  • Ronnie on July 16, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    Spot on! i am with you Mike!

  • faheem on July 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    We can understand his attack in first inning, but what about the 2nd inning. Is this one is justifiable.

  • rahul arora on July 16, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    What is Afridi's role in the team? 1. Batsman? then to say that he had it in his mind that he cannot stay at the wicket for more than an hour is not good. He has to believe that he can play in all conditions and situations. 2. Bowler? He has to be an assertive attaching bowler 3. Allrounder? He has to make up his mind if he is a batting allrounder (e.g Kallis) or a bowling allrounder( like the New Zealand captain). He has to define his role and accountability. I think his best bet is to be like a batting allrounder and a good role model could be Shewag - So would be the batting position- Open with Salman Butt. With some sensible aggression, he can control the match.

  • The Opener on July 16, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    Totally agree. The whole momentum of the game would have changed if Afridi had hung around for another 40 or 50 runs. I know from my experience, nothing raises the hair at the back of your neck more than when someone starts teeing off and continues to slap all bowlers around in double quick time. Another few overs and I reckon we would have started to panic. Mind you I am an unabashed Afridi fan, so not too many runs against us but all the success you deserve. At least you appeared to have moulded a team that behaves like it is unified.

  • Mitcher on July 16, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    I'm not going to add to your misery Mike as I agreed with the general tone of the article. But, Mr Shahid's second innings effort, if not digraceful, was incredibly unbecoming of a Test Match captain. I blame the powers that be rather than the man himself. Said powers knew what they were getting...

  • George on July 16, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Will Mr. Holman's comment chane after the Afridi's second innings dismissal?

  • aamar from slough on July 16, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    hi guys im sorry but i totally agree afridi is a pro who been about over 10 years in the game and everyone has figured how to get him out why doesnt he figure out his role and when he plays proper crickets shot when he thinks what hes gonna do hes a good player and how can a professional rem like pakistan give 6 wickets to marcus north something isnt right and like bob willis said shahid afridi wickets was a disgrace

  • Sean on July 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Oh I am so tired of Afridi being called a smasher and dasher and slogger and what not.Everyone who watched his innings know he tried to play one slog too many. This is test cricket, please don't tell me that this was his only choice and he would have score 25 in 60 balls. Writer here is just assuming that Afridi was not expected to score even 25 runs.This is what I call utter rubbish.He was batting with Salman Butt at that time who was holding fort at the other end. Afridi is good enough batsman with adequate technique to play proper shots but its his mindset that works against him.The writer is truly promoting mediocrity by packaging it in form of only choice available to Afridi.Please call this inning anything but don't call it the right choice.It was just like a gambler's run that paid off in beginning and then the luck ran out.

  • Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad on July 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Hara kiri by a captain even once in a test match innings is not acceptable. And (Hara kiri) twice in a match is absolutely un-pardonable. This man named Afridi, should be immediately thrown out of the Pakistani test squad and replaced with Mr. Abdul Razzaq, failing which the team will suffer irrepairable damage.

  • Eddy Moses on July 16, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Oh dear. Afridi should keep attacking hoping that one innings out of 20 he can slog a fifty? he has had two slogs this test and mustered 33 runs. Not good enough. pakistan needed Afridi to use his head and he didn't.

    Unfortunately the PCB won't take the bull by the horns and drop Afridi from all forms of cricket. He simply does not play for Pakistan and plays for himself.

  • santhosh on July 16, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    either way well written

  • Vermont Devil on July 16, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    So much for your 'support' of Boom Boom. Out in the 2nd innings and Pakistan will lose.

    This is Test not ODI. One should adjust batting accordingly. Apparently Afridi can't or won't.

  • Andy on July 16, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    In Test match cricket a good player will adapt to the situation, especially the captain, if a player cannot do that he definately shouldnt be captain and maybe shouldnt be in the team at all.

  • Andrew on July 16, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    No, it just goes to show that Blofeld knows what he's talking about and you - and seemingly many others - don't. Afridi's appointment as captain is one of the stupidest decisions in recent memory for cricket officials. They'll reap what they sow by appointing the most ill-disciplined man in the game to oversee a critical rebuilding phase.

    Dreadful article.

  • Avais on July 16, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    completely for the approach taken by Afridi... but in the end it was just one shot too many... Lets not forget that Afridi is captaining the side now and we have seen that the team draws a great amount of inspiration from him... which means that he needs to be more consistent with the bat... especially in tests and he needs to be more selective with his shots... i know its all easier said than done especially with the benefit of hind-sight...but two innings and two shots to get himself out speaks for itself.. I hope Afridi can put his mind where his heart lies...

  • narendran on July 16, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    i just don't understand the admiration afridi gets. whats this 'boom boom'?? its irritating to hear that. atleast if he is of the class of sehwag, there is point in admiring him. but its really a pity... he is really not a test player. and if he's captaining a test team, then there something terribly wrong. praying god that pakistan should some real test player as its capt.

  • Ajmal on July 16, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    To say that Afridi had the option of blocking the ball is 'disgraceful'. He does not have the talent or the temperament to play a defensive innigs, whether Pakistan is 170 runs behind in a first innings, or need 213 runs to win in a crucial test match(THIS ONE!). He should us how irresponsible he is when he tried to hoick the 5th ball he faced over square leg by employing an ugly slog sweep. If Hilfenhaus can make 50 runs against the best bowling attack in the world, using nothing but a little common sense, please explain why you are defending Afridi? My argument, whether it sounds convincing to you or not is that Afridi does not consider the situation his team is in when going out to bat. He has always been an irresponsible and impulsive player, and in my view does not hold the mental capacity to change himself. In conclusion, to say that THIS innings is justified is just fueling the fire which should have been put out a long long time ago.

  • Alan Edgar on July 16, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    Mike,

    Would love to hear your "case for the attack" re Afridi's 2nd innings knock ...

  • Siddique on July 16, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    To be honest, your analysis is disappointing. I wasn't expecting this kind of feedback from you. We could get stuck with the semantics here but his innings was simply "excessively wired" and parallel to what when he was termed, during his ball-tempering episode, that he gave a new definition to stupidity. He should have stayed there and demonstrated by example the need to stay on the crease in the test cricket. However, being rational and at the same time be Shahid Afridi (and for that matter most of the current players) is a PARADOX. He could be ‘inspirational’ in the field but equally ‘stupidity-oriented-motivational’ leader…!!

  • Siddique on July 16, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    To be honest, your analysis is disappointing. I wasn't expecting this kind of feedback from you. We could get stuck with the semantics here but his innings was simply "excessively wired" and parallel to what when he was termed, during his ball-tempering episode, that he gave a new definition to stupidity. He should have stayed there and demonstrated by example the need to stay on the crease in the test cricket. However, being rational and at the same time be Shahid Afridi (and for that matter most of the current players) is a PARADOX. He could be ‘inspirational’ in the field but equally ‘stupidity-oriented-motivational’ leader…!!

  • Sunil Udassi on July 16, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Ok...so I was not surprised to see many ppl agreeing to the article !! Basically, the article says that when ppl know that Afridi cannot play Test Cricket, then why even expect him to bat like a Test Player??? He shd be allowed to bat (or shd I say "slog" or "swing") like he knows. If Henry Bloefeld is not happy to watch him, he shd go and blame PCB for making him the captain of the team !!

    Btw...I can't wait for the article which talks about his second innings !! Maybe this time too, Afridi thought that the residual target of 200 runs can be best achieved if the last 5 wickets batted in T20 mode !! Way to go captain !! Am not sure what kind of msgd he might be giving to younger debutant batsmen !!

  • piston on July 16, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    what a pathetic performance from afridi... "Top order mistakes aside, but this innings from afirdi has been the most irresponsible captain's innings ever".. Now what pakis say abt afridi & his talent?..he is a player,who never understands the situation of the game and throw his wicket just like that!! and he proudly says in interview's 'There was no other choice but me..'

  • chirag on July 16, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    True that attack is the Afridi's weapon. But considering the fact only tail was to follow after him , and he is the CAPTAIN as well, i don't think his approach was correct. Seeing such performance, i don't think he should be playing test cricket. He does not have that temperament. He is good , if not great, in T20/ODIs but test cricket, nah.. dude , please retire from Test Cricket again!!!

  • hizam on July 16, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    Guys, i think you guys dont know as much as cricket as him. So shut your mouths, whatever he did he knew why. There was no point if he had defense he would have got out, Or the other batsmen could have made mistake. And Afridi is a great captain a bonus for our team.

  • John Jesh on July 16, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    While the recent pak teams have forgotten my expertise,skills gained, its time for more patience (no other go)

    Negatives Trailing 1st innings by 100+ runs Leaking 130 runs for the tail enders and increasing target Afridi (better to allow him into his style) and Umar Akmals irresponsible innings Giving North 4 wickets while very well faced fast bowlers

    Positives Good characters shown by Salman, Azhar and fast Bowlers Afridi leadership

    Real lessons learned Replace Farhat and open with Yasir and Kaneria with Malik Azhar Ali can be tried no.3 for few more times Don't ever try to change Afridi's captaincy fooled by Salman's good batting

    Finally this the better output than the past team under Afridi.

  • injunfever on July 16, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    i guess his second innings approach should therefore bedescribed as even more mature - given that Pakistan was only going to loose - so loose it must like affridi in boom boom style!

  • Aftab on July 16, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Like people have mentioned Afridi does not have the ability to stay at the crease for a long period - then why is he even playing test cricket. He should never play Test cricket - they should get a reliable batsman instead and not a slogger.

  • Sallu on July 16, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Aaaah well.... Afridi threw the wicket today... will it be called disgraceful? I dont think so.. it is irresponsible to the maximum hieght, idiotic most stupid stuff... but even after today, it is not disgraceful!

  • Ahmed on July 16, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Maybe someone should tell him that this is a Test series not 20/20. How can a captain guide young cricketers in the art of Test cricket with such a reckless approach. Pakistan will lose this one .

  • Imad on July 16, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    When will people understand that Afridi it just a slogger. Ask any batsman to slog like he does and once in fifty games they will also score runs like he does. This just shows that because of the limitations of his batting we are talking about him scoring 30 runs which is practically useless. We should be talking about players scoring 70/80, spending time at the crease supporting the other players, being an example to the team. You can score 30 runs without even taking any risks and just stroking the ball. Also, Afridi even getting 30 is normally based on a lot of luck and chances. Afridi should only be playing T20 only - which is a game for sloggers.

  • pukkaman on July 16, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    The rest of the team are fighting like the famous caged tigers to keep their wickets and inch down the aussie total. From what I can gather they've all been unlucky or momentarily lost their concentration - what was Afridi doing in the second innings? Is he really the 6th best batsman in all of Pakistan? I doubt it.

  • Munwar on July 16, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Afridi can only play with one game plan in his mind and that is to slaughter any red round looking thing with a seam out of the ground.

    This is not acceptable and Shahid Afridi needs to understand his role and pressures of being a Captain. Bringing his team down and not leading as a he should demoralises the whole team.

    Making his test debut in 1998, he has only scored 1700 runs in 46 innings. I mean what is the Pakistan Cricket Board thinking. This is not his game style and after playing 12 years of International cricket, is this the only material that can be found and for Captaincy?

    Pakistan needs a leader. Someone who as the elegance like the great Imran Khan.

  • irfan on July 16, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    afridi is an utter disgrace. he has learnt nothing from ten years of cricket. he has no brain and what a poor example for a captain he is. when his team need something he provides nothing. to do that in the first innings was bad enough but the second innings again is just utterly disgraceful. he should hand his head in shame just as the pcb team selectors.

  • pAki _84 on July 16, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    It is very sAd th whole country is upset & I would like 2 BLAME PCB for bringing the PAKSTANI TEAM"S DOWNFALL & makinG PAKISTANI TEST TEAM "Ä JOKE" in front of the worlD. Afridi should bE ASHAMED of HIMSELF the WAY HE HAS BATTED IN BOTH THE INNINGS very POOR BATTING DISPLAY..!!!

  • Simon Lewis on July 16, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    As some have said before me, you are correct in your assertion that it was far from a 'disgraceful' innings, but this is all I believe to be correct. It seems that you have made only two distinctions, that Afridi could attack every ball - as he indeed did - or defend for his life a la Mike Atherton, which simply isn't the case.

    For Afridi, it should never be a case of trying to defend endlessly, as this would result in a slow, painful death, but there is a difference between recklessness and aggression. Take Sehwag for example, there is plenty of thought and consideration that goes into his play, and yet there is not a time in an innings when he is not attacking or intimidating the bowler. Just because he doesn't slash every ball for four or six, doesn't mean he's going to stagnate, as you assume would be the case if Afridi did not play as he did. This is a far better model for aggressive play, and one which Afridi should adopt given his role in the team.

  • Sameer Swami on July 16, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Elementary, Mike. 30 in one hour from Afridi would have meant another 30-40 with the way Butt was batting. Its all about partnerships remember!!

  • Engle on July 16, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Mostly agree with Mike. This is risk management. However, to keep the opposition guessing, Boom Boom should have alternated between attack and a bit of defense. Otherwise you play predictably into their hands or utimately mistime one. That's the fine line. Is it 70-30 attack-defense ratio ? or 80-20 ? Who knows ? It's definitely not 90-10 onwards

  • simon on July 16, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Totally agree with your article Mike.. Boom Boom knows his strengths and plays to them for his team! Test cricket would be in a better place if more batsmen had confidence to play with freedom and less attention to their averages. Blofeld should consider his position as a cricket journalist and realise this is 2010, not 1935! Boom Boom and Waqar have the potential and talent at their disposal to send Pakistan cricket to the top.

  • dr. jha on July 16, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    totally totally agree with u ... whoever calls that innings disgraceful should be ashamed of his comments... he played the way only he could have..and had that ball went for six and he got even fifty ... the same people would be hailing his innings as one of the better counter attacks... its similar to umar akmal's in the t20... had he got out in single digits trying to hit a six... he would have got the stick... but he didnt and got lot of admiration instead...you cannot cannot call an innings like that anything less than a brilliant counterattack cut short.. times have changed oldies... grow up..

  • migalu on July 16, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    the only problem with your 'case' is that you assume Afridi took into consideration the state of the game and planned his innings. laughable.

  • Stark on July 16, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    How was that a stupid or disgraceful innings?!?!

    I saw the match from day 1 and I can assure that the conditions were really tough and even some of the established test cricketers were struggling in those conditions.

    He could have played with a steady head and would have got out for 3(25) but instead he took the attack to the Aussies and had them reeling for a moment or two. Overall a good knock!!!!

  • chona on July 16, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    @Narayan G

    says that bits and pieces players are for Chaddi/Pyjama Cricket...about which I think is T20 ... If that is the case then why India is supporting IPL...??

    Just because India can not win T20 World Cup any more and keeps getting ousted in first round every time .....you are saying t20 is haddi/Pyjama Cricket...!!!! Grapes are actually quite sour...

    Mind you the one WC in 2007 they won...they were presented on a platter rather than winning it themselves...ha ha ha ....

    On the other hand how dare u compare Sehwag with Afridi....??? Sehwag is a known performer...so he is of another class...a higher class....Afridi is lower but entertaining to say the least and Test Cricket needs players like both Afridi and Sehwag..... Lastly I would say Planet Blofeld is surely not this world... I agree with this article... One more thing Afridi as a captain might transform himself from being a mere swash bucklers to actually a player of Pieterson or Sehwag's class in near future...

  • shortofalength on July 16, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    Other than the idea that Afridi can't defend (and would therefore logically exclude him from a Test team)justifies his innings I can't really see what the argument is about. Test cricket goes for 5 days. If conditions are difficult then the sensible thing to do is to defend and hope that the conditions improve or defend and try to accumulate runs. Afridi came to the crease with Pakistan 5/83 chasing a small total. As Australia have demonstrated in this Test and many others if you bat responsibly with the tail and not give wickets away then you can firstly get yourself out of trouble and then go on to put pressure on the other team. Thats what Test cricket is all about!!! If Afridi can't defend then he should not be playing Test cricket or worse be Captain. What sort of example is this for a young team? Strange selection and worse strange batting.

  • Chris Anandan on July 16, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    I believe Pakistan should include Mohamed Yusuf in squad to have right balance. This would have boosted the confidence to youngsters batting on the top order. Afridi is always was a quick score and never fancied playing test cricket but at this moment of time need a mature innings from him. Overall Pakistan performance with a young side is to be appreciated and bowling is world class.

  • pc on July 16, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    afridi is a very calculative guy. he puts a lot of effort and is very smart and quick in arriving to a decision. taking account of his ability to score quickly he did what he thought as correct and i agree with him and the author.

  • Saad Omer on July 16, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    You have GOT TO USE your brain at some point of time. If you are naturally stupid, it does not mean that you remain super-idiot in all situations, because that is your 'natural game'. If he has not learnt the patience and how to read the environment and work as per the conditions even after half a dozen years of playing top level cricket, then I am afraid we have a big problem here. If hard-hitting is the only measure to play, then we might as well bring in baseball players from USA, coz that's all they do! This is serious lack of cricketing sense on captain's behalf, and I don't think his failures in batting should be covered up with the statements like he has not been given a chance to play his 'natural' game...

  • Chris Anandan on July 16, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    I believe Pakistan should include Mohamed Yusuf in squad to have right balance. This would have boosted the confidence to youngsters batting on the top order. Afridi is always was a quick score and never fancied playing test cricket but at this moment of time need a mature innings from him. Overall Pakistan performance with a young side is to be appreciated and bowling is world class.

  • Zain on July 16, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Like a lot of people, I agree with you as well. Plus, what a lot of people forget is that he was the SECOND HIGHEST scorer in our innings; almost double the 16 that was the 3rd highest scorer in our innings.

  • Ghulam Haider on July 16, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Afridi is true case of non-sense. He doesn't deserve a place in the test squad and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed him the captain of the team. What the hell PCB is doing with our cricket team. His stupid approach would lead the team to nowhere.

  • Ghulam Haider on July 16, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Afridi is true case of non-sense. He doesn't deserve a place in the test squad and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed him the captain of the team. What the hell PCB is doing with our cricket team. His stupid approach would lead the team to nowhere.

  • Wahaj Hashmi on July 16, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    Excellent, superb article Mike! Test or T20, a batsman should always play his natural game if he wants to offer to the best of his capability, its simple as that really. Besides, I personally even feel that one of the major reasons why test matches are failing and becoming unattractive is because they're being played too defensively, test cricket isn't all abotu defense, I much rather watch entertaining cricket than defensive and senseless cricket played by the excuse of 'test cricket'. Test cricket can always be played aggressively too, just as it should.

  • abdeali nafar on July 16, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Being basically a one-day player, he should have in absolute honesty should have not played a test match---what to speak of leading the side. The selection team officials must take cognizance and differentiate players who can contribute positively to which version of the game. With chips down when Afridi came to play, it needed a mush wanted positive approach to overcome the stalemate and think of how best he can contribute positively and prove himself as a role model for his team mates. Playing a cameo boom boom innings is "disgraceful" in this sense.

  • Aleem on July 16, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    B E A Utiful!

  • Sarfraz on July 16, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Mike, Pakistanis believe in miracles rather than practicality. We pray during the match. Players recite verses during the match. We live in past glories. Shahid Afridi is one of us. He still consider himself as a 16-years old guy who posted 102 in 37 balls. When he comes on the pitch we yell "Boom Boom" which does 'something' inside him and he lofts the ball into the air. I fail to remember a single match in last decade that we won because of him but still he is part of team. What can a coach do to such players? Who does the accountability of the players? If politicians are accused for wrong doings on public money then why not the players who enjoy their tours on public exchequers? Being captain with 300+ ODI experience, Afridi should have come at number 4 position in 1st innings (Take example of Strauss, Graeme Smith) and have faced most deliveries to take pressure off from Butt's shoulders who was playing exceptionally well. But he listens to nobody...

  • Jackie L on July 16, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    I won't call your article disgraceful Mike but you are playing to the crowd just as Afridi was. You seem to forget that he had a batsman at the other end in Salman Butt who was batting extremely well and building a good innings. What Butt required and what the game needed was a partnership not a one man show. Afridi is now captain so it is even more important that he shows that Test cricket is a game of resistance as well as attack. Attack is one of the options open to a captain, when a platform has to be set, or perhaps an innings has to be galvanised or an opponent punished. In the circumstances the only chance Pakistan had was for Butt and Afridi to build a strong partnership. His big hitting meant that Butt had hardly an of the strike and the Afridi had left the field again in three overs. The runs hardly made any difference because Butt was then stranded with the tail. If Afridi had supported Butt it would have frustrated the Australians and the bowling becomes less easy.

  • Abhishek on July 16, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    How does it matter, its sports which we have to enjoy..and we enjoy what he does..he is in great form which he showed in Asia Cup - if he had scored a hundred playing like that - this innings would have been called one of the best innings in test criket by the same blofeld...So shut down the volume and enjoy the cricket...

  • waqar warraich on July 16, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    afridi is not a crickter.he is only entertainer.as a crickter i l like only test and odi's .if he can show his responsiblety in t2o why not in test match .if u guys remember the world cup t2o in 2009 final and semifinal.look at his side selaction of test team.u have two debu in lords against australia no 2 and 3 position o my god what a selaction.i dont know what i have to say. god bless our team.

  • Saqib on July 16, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    The need of an hour is to attack and afridi did the right thing to reduce the gap in quick succession as the pressure was on and had not gone that way, the risk was still there with pressure on and wickets falling. But now with 300+ to win different strategy is required without taking any risk and try to score at 2 or 2.50 run per over without taking risk and put australia under pressure

  • Umar Khan India on July 16, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    You are absolutely SPOT ON Mike. These people who term Afridi's inning as disgraceful fail to understand that Afridi cannot stay at the crease no matter how hard he tries. I dont even agree that his innings was irresponsible. I was reading his mind very well... he had very few batsmen left, if he got out within 20 odd runs by playing cautiously would have made the case worst. The only thing that he didnt do was he didnt built a partnership.. why should he build a partnership if he is alone capable to making those 30 odd runs without consuming much of crickets time!! Having said that, as you rightly sadi if he made 30 odd runs in 60 odd balls these very people would term his inning as GRACEFUL!!! Haha

  • Anonymous on July 16, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Hi, I don't think its a good decision. Afridi need to stay and take runs on the board from patiently. He is a caption and 30 runs in not enough in Test cricket.

  • Chuckworth on July 16, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    I am in the cross-benches in this debate. I think Afridi should temper his aggression a little, but not too much. He should just try to eliminate his riskiest shots. Andrew Symonds would be a good model for him. I think Roy figured out that if he could calm down and occupy the crease for fairly long periods, he has so many scoring shots that the runs would inevitably come. Afridi's talent is very similar.

  • Zuberi on July 16, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    agreed with sarfraz that I would rather prefere to see a different Afridi instead of what we are watching since last 10 years, like if you see MS. Dhoni, who is not actually a stylish batsman but he knows the importance of the runs he can score from his bat and always stands for his team. no matter your uper order was already gone but Afridi had to play a mature inning which should not only helps Pak a good total but also helps to justify his inclusion in test cricket (which i personally never agreed) i remember an inning played by BC Lara aginst australia and one from Inzi with the last tail, they stayed at wicket more then until take their teams for the memorable victories.

  • Chuckworth on July 16, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    I am in the cross-benches in this debate. I think Afridi should temper his aggression a little, but not too much. He should just try to eliminate his riskiest shots. Andrew Symonds would be a good model for him. I think Roy figured out that if he could calm down and occupy the crease for fairly long periods, he has so many scoring shots that the runs would inevitably come. Afridi's talent is very similar.

  • Ahmed on July 16, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Afridi has no place in PAKISTAN test team and he is playing in this test as there is no other choice for PCB to pick a captain. Just to have a captain, he is in the team. There is always a question that what the situation demands, what should have been your efforts and what you did. TEST CRICKET is not entertainment cricket and must be treated as TEST CRICKET. Irrespective of result of this test, HE IS NOT FIT FOR TEST CRICKET.

  • riaz on July 16, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Dear Mike When talking of Afridi, we are used to see entertainment even if it lasts for 15 mins. All your arguments arise from the weak tail to follow, you forgot the man at the other end SALMAN BUTT. He searched for a partner whole innings and was second last man to get out. Had Afridi thought Salman as a tailender who and others to follow are ready to give their wicketfs away!!! In true sense, what you call his natural style, i must say is a reflection of self appraisal and nothing else and many a times has costed Pakistan Matches. A captain of nation unwilling to change his style and accomodate his batting to what is required ? If a player representing a country (and unfortunately captaining) fails to understand the need of hour and just plays the way he used to 15 years ago, better get rid of such hypocretes!!!

  • riaz on July 16, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Dear Mike When talking of Afridi, we are used to see entertainment even if it lasts for 15 mins. All your arguments arise from the weak tail to follow, you forgot the man at the other end SALMAN BUTT. He searched for a partner whole innings and was second last man to get out. Had Afridi thought Salman as a tailender who and others to follow are ready to give their wicketfs away!!! In true sense, what you call his natural style, i must say is a reflection of self appraisal and nothing else and many a times has costed Pakistan Matches. A captain of nation unwilling to change his style and accomodate his batting to what is required ? If a player representing a country (and unfortunately captaining) fails to understand the need of hour and just plays the way he used to 15 years ago, better get rid of such hypocretes!!!

  • Shoaib on July 16, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Shahid Afridi... a destructive, invincible batsman who shows signs of aggresion at any format of the game. No matter which opposition he is competing with he releases devastating assaults which fills the opposition with fear! Good on ya Mr. Afridi!!!

  • Porterhouse on July 16, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Boom Boom only has one gear -> 11. Hasn't Henry seen him play before?

  • abdul on July 16, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    I think it was disgraceful since he was the captain of the side. Pakistan's main problem in tests have been their batting and applying themselves on the crease, but Afridi didn't bother, he could have started the way he did and shifted gears, in test cricket I think you always have to shift gears

  • Hassan on July 16, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    @RAFE

    boss this is one way to see tht..and the other way to interpret is the one written by the writer...and most of us would go with the writer because afridi is not tht kind of player who would just play for the other batsman..rather he is the one who enjoy this kind of attitude from other players..and i can guarantee tht he wont have stayed for tht long period of time because the ball was seaming..even a proper batsman was finding hard to cope then how is it possible for afridi to be defensive in his approach..whereas if u had read wht watson had to say after tht day..was pretty much according to afridi's plan..if only he had stayed for mere 15 more balls..the score would have been quite different!

  • Jim Cooper on July 16, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    I think you were listening to a different Blowers than I was. Both he and Ian Chappell were all in favour of an aggressive innnings by Afridi. What they both said, quite correctly, was that Afridi has a tendency to try and hit every ball to the boundary, and that is often his undoing. And that's exactly what happened.

    What was needed from a captain in the dire situation his team was in, was a more sensible innings, where he was just a bit more discerning about which balls to hit. Consider what a Gilchrist or a Hayden or a Seywag might have done in the same situation, for example.

  • Warren on July 16, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    I was travelling and did not see the innings. However I totally agree with this article. There are times when you need to fight fire with fire - too often I have seen the innings capitulate and wonder why one of the lower order batsman try and fight back because as Mike pointed out, the inevitable ould happen. Trying to make Dravid into Sehwag or vice versa is not going to happen - let players like Afridi play to their strengths - it is courageous and, entertaining!

  • Anonymous on July 16, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Exactly. Afridi's only problem is he always goes for one hit too many. He should take more of a leaf out of batsmen like Swanns book where after a couple of big attacking strokes he's happy to block a couple of balls an over. As soon as Afridi had taken that six off the second to last ball you knew he was going to go for it again and probably fail. I'd have even put money on it.

  • pukkaman on July 16, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    I was at lords as well - and my only problem with Afridi was not what he set out to do, but a cleverer batsman, may well have said to himself I'm gambling here - I'll take the risk, but that over had already gone for 16 I think, with one ball left why not defend, let the blood settle and start again next over. I've played enough cricket to see what happens at our level when the first three balls go for four - the hot-headed batsman will try and hit the fourth out the park and be bowled...

    Still it was great entertainment.

    But I also think Afridi is a better batsman than he thinks he is, his early test record certainly suggests that, and so I wanted him to think not lets gamble on making 30-50 slogging, but why shouldn't I make more than that and so bat accordingly.

    Every run is important and the aussies would have come out and batted differently knowing they had only a 40 run lead as opposed to a hundred run lead.

  • sarfraz ali on July 16, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    It was not disgraceful by any strech of imagination,but definitely on of the most irresponsible innings under the circumstanes.If he cant stay at the wicket,he should not be matting at no 6.To make it worse,he shyed away from bowling.He cant bat,he wont bowl.What is he doing in the test side?Test cricket is about concentration and application,He has none of it. He would be great captain and player in shorter forms of the game.In tests,He is no Brearly. He has to earn his place in the side.Till such time he is yet another malady afflicting Pakistan Cricket

  • Junaid on July 16, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    I completely agree with you. he played as he shud have and it wud have been wastage of time and also wicket if he wud have stayed and tried to kill time and lost wicket and wud have only made2-3 runs. Great blog

  • Rahul Bhasin on July 16, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    To add further, would you justify Dravid letting the last over of a ODI go for a maiden or only a couple of runs simply because he is not good at slogging and his defense is strong or would you he rather make an ATTEMPT at going after the ball and if he felt he didn't have it in him, pass the strike over, because that is what the situation and the team requires?

    He is not than effective a bowler in test matches, definitely not as effective as he is in ODI's. And if has the license to simply bat like this just because he is good at hitting sixes, well, then I really, really do question his inclusion in the test team - let alone him being the captain. What sort of message does this send to this young team of his? When the going gets tough, slog out?

    You have to adapt, or at least try to adapt, according to the situation. It's not like Shane Watson (of all bowlers) was sending down 160 km+ yorkers or swinging the ball left and right that he was simply unplayable.

  • Rahul Bhasin on July 16, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    While I agree with the initial part of your article, this innings was far from a "disgusting" display, I am however highly against you justifying the way Afridi played. Sure, he may not be in the same class as Dravid with regards to his defense, just like Dravid is in no shape or form in the same class as Afridi when it comes to hitting the ball for a six. That, however, does not give him the license to bat the way he did. It was beyond stupid. He should at least TRY to see the ball, judge the pitch first. I can understand if he let 15-20 balls go by, realized he wasn't upto it, then just went after the bowling. That I SOMEWHAT get. But for him to go after the bowling STRAIGHT WAY was asinine. He is the captain of a young team, he should at least TRY to bat like one. He has 5 Test Match centuries to his name. I am sure he played with SOME sense in those innings. I can guarantee that he did not go in wanting to smash every ball for a boundary in those innings.

  • Omar on July 16, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    I wasn't really sure why I was okay with Afridi regressing to the skill set he had a few years back but your article has given me my reason.

  • nanda kishore kuruppal on July 16, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    Well written piece. Though not a great fan of Pak Cricket, what you have written is absolutely right. Anyway Henry remains one of my fav commentators from the 70's and 80's when there hardly used to be any live coverage of matches from England

  • Monusai Rathod on July 16, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    Given the Current Sitiuation, Afridi is the best man in the team. This man is a man of his words, he never changed his style. Critism followed to Sehwag's and Tendulkar's for being too aggressive..they have given their reply & rest they say is history.

    You can't ask Dravid to bat like Sehwag or Afridi to bat like Dravid !! He is giving everything in a Test match...including pure entertainment, which we never see in Lords Test.

    I being an Indian, have a respect for person like Afridi who took mettle on his shoulders when PCB was in Turmoil. They didn't cried & ran like Malik. Its not an easy task to restrict Aussies to less than 250 Runs on board. He has shown that he got balls to challenge Aussies & trust me..he will kick their balls soon !!!

  • Rafe on July 16, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    When you have a batsman at the crease doing well, like when Afridi came in, your job is to help him keep doing well. Look at what Bollinger did for his team by helping Hussey get some more runs, he stayed around for over an hour, and by doing that Hussey scored 30 more runs and that completely negates any effort Afridi made with his madness.

    People are saying in here why bother sticking around for 75 balls when you can make the same score in 15 balls - well, I will tell you. To use up more of the time of the bowling team who at the time had good conditions to bowl in! If Afridi could indeed have stayed for 75 balls, that is 60 more balls (10 overs!) that his lower order would not have had to face, and to give time for the conditions to change, and maybe the Aussie attack to get a bit sloppy.

    And to those who say that he was the second top scorer, that means absolutely nothing if your team fails and loses AGAIN. Pretending that being 2nd highest scorer means anything is nonsense.

  • Asif on July 16, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    Finally a well written article, from someone who understands not only cricket but the emotions going into an innings, and the situation.

    I have seen pundits, notable ones, like chappel having a very good sense of cricket, and writing good pieces of knowledge. However, the brilliant piece comes out when you combine the cricketing knowledge, with the match situation, and the individual at hand whose strengths and weaknesses are being dissected.

    Given the situation, how afridi plays, and how he would have thought when going into the field, i think his attack was justified.

    Had he stayed for a few more overs, trust me, every writer would have praised the positivity that he brings. However, as we all know that success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan. The same has in-fact happened here..

    How many times have we seen commies praising unorthodox shots when they come off, and linking it to creativity, and cursing the batsman when he is not able to pull off the same shot again.

  • Rameez on July 16, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    One of the best articles I've seen on cricinfo for a long time. Kudos to the writer.

    Go Lala, we are behind you.

  • hydar on July 16, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    afridi nowday playing well .he will comes again like a wasim

  • Arif on July 16, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    I think, finally someone come up with the justice. Afridi's thinking was exactly what u have described. I am much relieved man now. People just try to critisize.Please read the situation he was in. He is still the second highest scorrer in the first innnings. Mike, you have explained him well. Thnx

  • ali on July 16, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    lovely

  • El Torqiro on July 16, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    The case against is simple: the Australian innings was lent some air of respectability due to a single player; Katich. Many test matches are decided on the back of an individual performance, where one player demonstrates the ability to turn the match in his team's favour.

    If Afridi had shown an ability in the past to change his style of play to suit the conditions, then we may one consider his display in the first innings to be a calculated response. Instead, we will never know if Afridi could have ground out an 80 or 90 and a) at least consumed more time from the seaming conditions, and b) left his team with less of a deficit. Your assertion that he was quite right just to throw his hands in the air and capitulate to the conditions denies the excellent work demonstrated by Simon Katich, who showed that with determination and a bit of luck you can face any conditions and still help your team - giving up just shouldn't be an option.

  • Umair on July 16, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    I completely agree with your take on this, it is infact a disgrace to expect some one like Shahid Afridi to dig around against his natural instinct and do the Salman Butt thingi. It is already given inspite of his few matured innings recently, he dosnt know anyother way but to be aggrasive (Slogging is not the right word for this).

  • Karthik on July 16, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    Well said... In case of distress, one should stick to his/her strengths... Afridi might not be as talented/gifted as Jayasuriya/Gilchrist/Sehwag, but he possesses the same attitude - to attack and challenge the thinking pattern of bowlers.

    While Afridi is scratching around for 75 deliveries to make a 25, the tailend batsmen would've been wiped out. Why bother? Launch an assault.

  • Don Bradman on July 16, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    There was a set batsman at the crease when Afridi played an irresponsible innings. His innings sent a very wrong signal to his team members and the morale of the team became very low. Aussies were able to pick the remaining wickets very cheaply. On the other hand, Aussie tail-enders added over 100 runs in the second innings because they did not throw the towel.

    I could have forgiven Afridi for his disgraceful innings had he not been playing as a batsman in the team or if he were not the captain of his side.

  • Aleem on July 16, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    Totally Agreed !

  • mak on July 16, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    well said Mike and i totally agree with ur point of view....like what are the chances that a hitter like afridi, who has his own class, will dig out and score 50+ in an 90+ mph attack in a bowling friendly conditions, to me very little... I think afridi took the right approach and he had the best chances to score 50+ with the attitude he took on the 2nd day

  • Sajjad Abidi on July 16, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Well I partly agree and partly disagree. I agree that labelling Shahid Afridi's inning 'disgraceful' won't do any justice as he is a naturally agressive player coupled with the Boom Boom factor he carries with himself and always trying to retain the BOOM BOOM trophy no matter what form of cricket he is playing. Having said that, we can quote many players from the world of cricket who are agressive yet effective. In recent times I can surely count Sehwag, Gilchrist, Astle, Gayle, Jayasuriya, Hayden amongst some who bat or use to bat agressively yet very effectively often changing the course of game. The point is that one should be agreesive but not to the extent of nuisance. You don,t need to hit every ball that comes to you and thats what generally make BOOM BOOMs batting "stupid, reckless and irresponsible"

    So all in all batsmen these days should try to be agressive in order to make Test Cricket more interesting but should maintain the class and charisma of a world class batsmen.

  • ahsan on July 16, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Agree

  • pakistani-american on July 16, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    a very cogent and sober analysis befitting a man of afridi's machination.

    we are by now well aware that afridi is always thinking out there.

    of course often his thinking leads him down a destructive path -- biting a ball, scuffing a pitch -- but what those events go to show is that he is thinking. he is aware of what is happening.

    mr holmans has done well to get into afridi's thinking mind. and found that when afridi thinks his immediate response to put his thinking to an end by launching into some kind of attack.

  • Khan on July 16, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    I second that. Had he scored 50+ in the same innings everyone would have been praising him for his knock. Adam Gilchrist did the same thing most of the time when Australia were in trouble like 70 for 5 something. I really wanted someone in Pakistan team to play attacking cricket at 6 or 7. Likes of Razzaq or Kamran Akmal can do this.

    I would like to see Afridi attacking in 'controlled' manner as he scored 2 centuries in Asia cup. If Sun comes up in the Lords today then we have a game to watch. If Sun is there, Afridi please come at number 4 and tear apart aussies bowling......am I expecting too much ;) i guess so :)

  • Zaib on July 16, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    Mike I am with you on this one! it was stupid but not disgraceful!

  • Matt on July 16, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    I agree entirely. Why is he being castigated, when his method, however eccentric, left him comfortably as second top scorer? If it had been on a flat track at The Oval, in blazing sunshine, there might be some point to the criticism, but in the circumstances Afridi's innings seemed like an entirely rational choice.

    Blofeld has a long record of talking absolute claptrap, though, so it's no surprise. England fans will remember his incessant sniping at Ashley Giles, even though Giles was, as ny real cricket fan could see, a vital cog in the team that eventually won the 2005 Ashes. Blofeld should remind us all of his glittering test career...oh hang on...

  • Armaghan on July 16, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    I think, Afridi was true in his judgment to score runs as quickely as possible and as truely analyzed in this post this is the only option he has. If he has scored more than 50 then the same people might have praised him for his effort. When you are against Australia and England normally these are the pressure tactics used by the media to pressrize the captain. I strongly support his effort and his emotions.

  • Arshad on July 16, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    I competely agree with the writer. Afridi would not have survived if he played defensive. Another 15 minutes and he would have been a hero...Sehwag opens the innings for india and plays in the same fashion (ofcourse he's more consistent) and even when he fails his innings are not disgraceful. Afridi has been playing for 15 years and this is the only way he knows.... To ask him to do something he cant is unfair ....It is this style of Afridi (test, ODI and 20/20) that makes thousands turn up on the ground and he is surely the most popular cricketer of present times ..... even if he disappoints his fans on a regular basis ....

  • Nusrat on July 16, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Being a slave of logic myself, I hundred percent agree with your reason. I like the way Mr. Henry Blofeld conducts his commentary, but calling Afridi's innings 'disgraceful'-- well---I would give him the benefit of doubt for a slippery tongue.

  • Suleman on July 16, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Great article that. He did what the circumstances asked him to do. It was just an article that could only be written by a sensible person, who has the ability to read a picture, unlike mediocre content writers like kamran abbasi and osman, whom don't have any vision like a pakistani batsman. And, what the hell are the indian muppets doing on every pakistani article??? Oh, I am so lucky to have written a comment before any indian muppet comes to spoil a very written article.

  • Baber on July 16, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Brilliant. The court rules its decision in your favor.

  • waqar malik on July 16, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    I am impressed by your knowledge of the game and understanding your point that afridi had no choice but to attack is bang on correct because he is not capable of defending in seaming swinging conditions so he made the right decision i gree

  • Salman on July 16, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with what you've said. If Shahid Afridi's innings was a disgrace then what about his counterpart , Ricky Pointing? He got out for 0 after facing 9 balls but nobody ever said that it was disgraceful , stupid or irresponsible (not that i think it was any of those). Every player has his own way of playing the game and until & unless he fails miserably he doesn't really harm the team by scoring the runs quickly. Had Afridi stayed on for another 25 balls perhaps the target for Pakistan would've been less then 400.

  • Awan on July 16, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Afridi innings was one of his best test innings because he took the captain's responsibility. He is aware of his strengths and weaknesses and also knew how the whole world would criticize him if he failed. But still he put his reputation at stake and played solely for his country. Afridi you are great!

  • Ali on July 16, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Love Afridi no matter what he does... my MSG to Afridi would be not to listen to anyone including Mike Holmans (author of this article), do what you gotta do man.. adn we all love you anyways :)

  • Ashar Raza Khan on July 16, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    I think Afridi played best acording to his style.Don't forget it was his first test inning after 4 years. So i personally think he did reasonably well. Overall i am impressed with afridi as a captian as well. He'll learn with time Inshallah.

  • Pratik Chkrabarti on July 16, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Exactly my thoughts. Thanks for writing this. I couldn't believe how egg-and-bacon they were being on the BBC 5 radio about Afridi's innings. Also any bad shot by any Pakistani batsman was being explained in terms of the disorganization in Pakistani cricket admin and the turmoil in Paikistan in general. Itwas ridiculous.

  • Omair on July 16, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    you've convinced me buddy...It was the right choice indeed.

  • Salih on July 16, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Entierly agreed. Thats what Sehwag and Gilchrist has done to other teams for years and years.

    Marginally succesfull this time, hope he will do better next time.

  • Umair Dar on July 16, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Mike - THANK YOU so much for writing this. This is exactly how I feel - no point hanging around defending when your side is miles behind the par score, this is the kind of Afridi we desperately needed in our test side. Now regarding the second innings however, if Pakistan by some miracle manages to get close to the target by the time Afridi walks in, (say maybe 150 runs adrift), then I do believe the kind of innings he played in the 1st innings would be disgraceful, if that situation were to arise, it would be best for Afridi to play a more 'mature' innings, safety first, but attack anything loose.

  • Sharjeel on July 16, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    I completely second you. He's a natural stroke maker and he did what he thought was best for his team. He doesn't think about himself. Australia's first inning score was not that high so he just tried to reduce the difference and he did good what he could.

  • Sallu on July 16, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Well i totally agree with the above article. All those who think that test cricket is only about playing defensively, waiting for the loose ball and then play a shot, lives in a 50 year old world. Today, all forms of cricket require analysis of situation; and I believe that had their been any other recognized batsman in place of Afridi, he would have done the same thing. All this decency, classic, shot from the book sort of things.. are just words from the book!

  • Ja from Singapore on July 16, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    I guess what Afrid did was correct, even though he failed in 30 plus runs, his approach was applaudable.Right, wat will media says if he play for 3 or 4 hours and made 30 runs.He didnt play selfish game, wanted to push up the score in the short time.He expected his out at any over of any balls.When 5 fielders around him,he can not try to defend or slip it.But mentally he should have hang around once he crossed 30 runs

  • Salman on July 16, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Totally agree! We have seen him play circumspectly as well many times in the past, with varying degrees of success, but in the given situation, I think what he did was right. There was no point hanging around knowing that very soon the innings would end, and provided his hitting abilities, he made the most of the time he had. Most people are critical of Afridi because he is captaining a test side and should show more "maturity" in his batting, but in that kind of a situation, what he did was right.

  • Shahid on July 16, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    I agree Mike, but attack doesn't mean every ball should be despatched flying. Probability for success will be much higher had he gone for 2s and 4s combined with a six here and there. Problem and stupidity arises when he thinks that he can go on hitting sixes every ball regardless where it pitches.

  • Abdullah on July 16, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Aslamualikum. greetings well what i think he is not a player of that kind who can play defensive. he should play his natural game but not in any bowl. he should play like even twenty twenty u saw he done 50s. or asia cup he done 100s so in test matches fielding is not that kind if he want to hit. just watch ball and hit anywhere for six boom boom

  • Angus on July 16, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    I totally agree, Afridi as captain had a responsibility to improve his teams position. He did it the best way he knows how to- attack!! I am an Afridi Fan as he plays his cricket seriously but with a smile on his face and is an entertainer in the Botham mould. You have to give credit to him for captaining such an inexperienced side- would the Aussies give debuts to a 3 and 4 in same game- I do not think so! So lets enjoy being neutral at Lords for a change and hope that Pakistan can make it into the 5th day as that would be very very interesting. I do agree that Henry Blofeld has had his day as he is not a Brian Johnston or John Arlott who at least kept up with the changing face of cricket!!

  • salman Zaidi on July 16, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    QED

  • S.M.Khurram Quaseem on July 16, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Things were Different Mr.Mike Holmans. Afridi when arrived wasn't playing with tail-enders. He joined Salman Butt who was already running out of partners. He at the very least should have been providing solidity for Salman Butt to let him play freely. This is Test Cricket mate! A partnership is always more important than an individual inning.

  • ahmed on July 16, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    even though his innings wasnt meant to be a t20 one still i agree with the gentleman .

  • Mirza Mahmood on July 16, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    I totally agree with you Mike. Afridi over did a it and thats Afridi. But I am sure had he gotten through that over, Watson wouldnt have got another. Afridi way is to attack and M sure in future he shall be a bit more calculated.

  • Sikander on July 16, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    Well I think what Afridi did was "irresponsible". But as the author mentioned it was the best way around to begin the assault, hit some fours and sixes and try to change the momentum of game. Think, if Afridi had managed to survive mere 35-40 balls, the game would have gone Pakistan's way. He is a natural hitter so let him play the way he likes to play. For Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal the word "disgraceful" will be a better option. Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, well Lord's has no pity for debutants especially when the clouds and breeze is there. In the second innings I hope the best from Salman, Azhar, Amin, Akmal Brothers and Afridi. Lets see their approach on a huge run chase. And these guys, believe me, are very much capable of chasing it down. Time will tell Inshallah.

  • Mohammad on July 16, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    100% agree with your comments. I also listened to all the "experts" and could not believe the strength of the criticsm. If the other batsmen had all done what Afridi did we would have not conceded such a lead. The fact that 5 of the top six scored a total of 26 runs is the real disgrace, yet a man who scored more than this total is the one who is ostracised.

  • Asif on July 16, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    WOW! Its as if Afridi has written this himself ... well done!

  • M FARAZ MERCHANT on July 16, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    I totally agree with Mike. A person should know his ability (pluses and minuses)and in the given circumstances what Afridi done was correct and couple of more sixes would have changed the momentum....Still all is not lost in this test match...lets pray for afridi and Pakistan...

  • Scorpio on July 16, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    ...But did he have to go for another six off Shane watson in the same over!!

  • Rahul on July 16, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Hmmmmmmm, Lot of talks about Pak Batting, I just want to say that loss or win are part of game but surrender is not acceptable. Fight how much u can and do't think about the result. Your bowling have allready won the hearts of all cricketer lovers. I m Indian but alwys want to see Pak attack. I want to ask one question to both of the Boards BCCI and PCB that why you both can' not produce world class batsman in pakistan and bolwers in India. Both the board come together and think about this issue. Any way.........best of luck pakistan.............. I love u.

  • YC on July 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    I totally agree with you Mike. It is very easy to criticize for the sake of commentary but equally hard to be in someone's shoes. With Afridi, it is always a ticking bomb, he could go any time then why not score some runs while he is at it. Those who pass such negative comments don't realize that they are the souls who would never be happy no matter what someone does or how someone plays. They always find a reason to criticize.

  • Dr.Ammar Rashid on July 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    I agree with you, Afridi did the best under the circumstances, 2nd innings Pakistan have a better start, You will see him adopting a more cautious approach.

  • Ayaz` on July 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    v. well justified :)

    I agree with Mr.Mike Holmans.

  • 458320777 on July 16, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    booooooooooooooooooooooooooooomooooooooooooom booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom afridi hit sixes i m with u australia are losers we know pakistan wins

  • Sheraz Siddiqui on July 16, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    I totally agree ...there sanity in this insanity and it must be accredited ....

  • haashir on July 16, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    finally someone with a brain analysed afridi's choice. I am happy there are still some gurus who technically analyse the whole situation before criticising just for the sake of it. In fact very very well thought out article. I wish that Afridi's 30 runs be the difference between the win and loss.

  • MS on July 16, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    You are right, you do have a bias towards Afridi. He cannot be compared to other attacking Test batsmen because he lacks an element which others have. Even in an aggressive mode, attacking Test batsmen pick and choose their battles. They don't try to score a boundary or a 6 of every delivery they face. Shewag is a prime example. Chris Gayle is another. That alone makes his style of play irresponsible and ill-suited to Test match cricket. Ofcourse I wouldnt call it disgrace by any stretch of imagination. Highly entertaining! Hit or miss. Guts and Glory. Going down in flames. Living and dying by the sword [or the bat in his case].

    Cheers MS

  • Ameer Fawad on July 16, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    Yes u r absolutely right....afridi is never defensive.since he is captain he s far more responsible and his S.R has gone up as well...just like in asia cup.......i think it was just a miss hit which cost his wicket otherwise i could fancy his score over 50 without any doubt......n all proper batsmen in Pak line up couldnt do much as afridi was 2nd top scorer.......he had to options be under pressure or take on the opposition n make them under pressure....n for brave captains 2nd choice is the right choice....

  • Mo on July 16, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    I completely agree with you.

  • Aadarsh on July 16, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    really nice one! a true judgement.. he played his innings, his own way! and took the australians to the cleaners, even if just momentarily! and now pakistan do stand a chance, even just an outside one, to win this.. and maybe those 31(4X4, 2X6) would make the difference!! hail BOOM BOOM!!

  • Hafsa on July 16, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    People talk about Afridi as if they have forgotten his match-winning performances against teams like Australia and India.

    We all know his 5 centuries in Tests did not come from '15' balls.

    So there definitely was a plan that he was following and to criticize to demoralize Pakistan Camp is no fair!

    As for his bowling abilities, those who still doubt him, let this new job of Captaincy sink in, you will get your answers as you always do. :)

  • jj on July 16, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Afridi is mad man. You can not justify his rationality. I thought the way he was playing, he just did not need to play so many risky shots. Ball could have been easily driven instead of played uppishly. When ball is coming on your bat, you played good safe shots. As soon as he hit few shots, bowlers were defencive, at that time, you take easy safe boundaries from them. All pakistani batsmen are victime of lack of concentration and try to play every single ball. Let the bowlers come to your areas and then you play safe fruitful shots. There is difference between twenty20 and test cricket. Australian bowling is not potent. Our test cricket batting know how needs to be improved. Our batsment just do not want to fight bowlers and give them easy wickets.

  • Pushpa raj giree on July 16, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    About Afridi's innings in First inning,what he done he had done god job as he can.playing 100 balls and make only 30 or 40 is more worse than make 30 from 10 balls.

  • Aadarsh on July 16, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    really nice one! a true judgement.. he played his innings, his own way! and took the australians to the cleaners, even if just momentarily! and now pakistan do stand a chance, even just an outside one, to win this.. and maybe those 31(4X4, 2X6) would make the difference!! hail BOOM BOOM!!

  • Bilal on July 16, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    agreed...top order was disappointing they should have shown better determination, technique and self belief...for me too Afridi has no other better option

  • Narayan G on July 16, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    Then what is in the Team for? Is he a Bowler? or a Batsman? Rameez Raza repeatedly claims that he is a good One day bowler and is suited for Test cricket and you say he cannot play more than 60 balls if he played cautiously... Man when you do you have him as captain. You are then actually playing with 10 players. That place of afridi could easily go for a Pure batsman, which Pak needs. You have a decent bowling attack anyway.

    It is a BLUNDER to keep Shahid Afridi in this team, if he not considered a Batsman for test cricket. He can NEVER be a sehwag... who has a fantastic blend of offence and defence. there is NO place for bits and pieces cricketers in Test cricket. That is for Pyjama/Chhadi cricket... which is not cricket by any means

  • Praveen on July 16, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Mike..Well said.I think using disgraceful was disgraceful in itself.

  • Salman on July 16, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Very rightly said. Totally agree to that. But the situation as it stands, only two things can save Pakistan. Younis Khan and rain.

  • virendra rana on July 16, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    You can not expect better than that from this man.You can now think of future of Pak team.

  • Sharjeel Murtaza on July 16, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Mike I think you have absolutely nailed it. Being another frustrated Pakistani supporter, I too cursed Afridi for being himself that day but now having read your point, I am absolutely convinced. However, I can bet that Afridi didn't bat the way he did with all of this in his mind. It was just another day at cricket for him. :)

  • Umair on July 16, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Right on Money Sir. It was common sense, but people just don't seem to get it.

  • Irtiza Nazar on July 16, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    I totally agree with your discourse over Afridi's plan of action. Besides, do we really think that Shahid Afridi knows how to dig it out? The only way he knows how to play cricket is to attack and that's what he did. Had he not done that, Pakistan would be 31 runs short, and played 15 deliveries less. He came out fighting and did a world of good for the total...another 40 runs would really have changed the game altogether.

  • PR on July 16, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    I am in total agreement with you for what Afridi did. Very rarely a batsman will have the courage to do what he did. Kudos to Afridi.

  • nirmal on July 16, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    "Disgraceful" must have been used coz it disgraced the Test Skills. You are supposed to apply yourself in test cricket.. not just get yourself out of the problem. And Being the leader of the Team, he needed to show more application..!! so he disgraced..!! although I love the way he playssssssssss..!!

  • Hania on July 16, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Totally agree with the case for Boom Boom attack! Thanks for make me feel even better about his selection as the captain, which I have been arguing for, for at least a couple of years now.

  • raheel ahmad on July 16, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    If Afridi has score 100 in same fashion every body then praised him what a inngs My Dears Aussie Adam Gulchrist Also used to play like this no one gave him that remarks it was just because afridi is pakistani people is question over his inngs what about sehwag , dilshan ,KP

  • Rajesh on July 16, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    Well said Mike... Even I felt the Afridi bashing a bit harsh as he scored a bit of runs in the way he knows... To me, he played a delightful innings and did worry the Aussies a bit.. Its a positive attitude which needs to be welcomed... Though I am an Indian, I have already started being in love with this nice Pakistani team and their brand of cricket... kudos to Afridi and Waqar for this...

  • Leijona on July 16, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Absolutely spot on. His defensive technique is poor and if he would just try to stay atb the crease he would not have score even 10. And there was no logic in delaying the inevitable as time had little or no impact on the game

  • David Meagher on July 16, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I guess you mean 'defence' in your caption, unless you are from US of A. Where are your editors?

    And yes, I agree with Henry and think your Mike Holmans needs to understand cricket tactics a little better. Afridi could have shut Australia out of the game with a composed innings, but like many took a chance to be a hero. The result of the game will show whether he succeeded or failed.

  • Asad on July 16, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    now wish for the best in his next innings, conditions are good to make them a real world record of chasing over 418 runses.. if he bated confidently then the victory will be waiting for him or his side.

  • zlaaldin on July 16, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Agreed!!

  • Darren Jonusas on July 16, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    "Planet Blofeld"? Disgraceful!

  • gw on July 16, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Absolutely correct. "Blowback" (Henry Blofeld) has always been a poor substitute for Brian Johnstone. Afridi is not a blocker and played his game. No "disgrace" there. Another 2 or three overs and he could have had a fifty. Then there could have been some bowing changes and the first signs of panic from an Australian side which has already proven it is not the team of the recent past.

    Afridi represents the best qualities of Pakistan. Raw talent which in the case of his bowling he has honed very successfully. Swashbuckling cricket which should be enjoyed by most who like the sight of leather being dispatched by willow to the four corners of the ground. This is coupled with a a proud but good spirited nature which seems to command respect from his team mates and other players. Let us hope this does not change and that Blofeld is quickly "mothballed" for his ongoing buffoonery.

  • Dr.Limple on July 16, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    You made a very convincing argument, I am sold.

  • badnoc on July 16, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Mike you are the only person who have come to a realistic conclusion about Afridi's logic behind his assault. Everyone else I have come across blames him for playing test like a T20 innings, what they forget is, Afridi's is famous for being Mr. BOOM BOOM. How many times has he scored a 50 of 95 balls or, for e.g., like Katich's first 39 runs in 100 balls? No one can change Afridi, his aggression is like Shoaib Akhtar's bowling run up, neither of them will change. Had Afridi not skied that last ball of Watson's over after scoring 16 runs in 5 balls or, IF his catch was dropped and he went off to score a hundred in 50-60 balls and taken a meager lead over Australia then, no one would have criticized him. Some people worship the rising sun, winners are always considered as heroes. There is no place for a runner up. A victory is hailed, a defeat is condemned. Such is our world.

  • Faisal Jaan on July 16, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I like this article. If properly utilized, he can be as dangerous as Sehwag. With field up, Afridi can milk the bowling attacks. Pakistan cricket is the best if they play aggressively. Afridi can epitomize this notion.

  • Reza Rehman on July 16, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Hi Mike, Good to see you're still one of the most intelligent guys among Cricket's opinion makers. I agree with your take on the attempt at assault. The mouthwatering prospect of a Fridi 100 or more in a session at Lords - that alone was worth the try!

  • obi on July 16, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    brilliant article. Afridi succeeded in unsettling the aussies somewhat.

  • Fayez Qamar on July 16, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    You my friend have found high esteem in my eyes! *sits back and applauds*...well played!

  • P S on July 16, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    Maybe just because he is english , Henry Blofeld is allowed to do commnetary ,otherwise his commnetary also seems to be disgraceful a no of times

  • Akber Choudhry on July 16, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Very well put, and I totally agree. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and squeezing the maximum out of that unique combination is one aspect of leadership. Another two overs like that and Australia would have been on the back foot despite the conditions. Still, it was a decent score.

  • Nick on July 16, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Truly agrees hitting out and attacking to bowlers was his only option.... you can never expect afridi to face 100 balls and make 30-40 runes he would rather chase down 100runs in 30-40 balls...

  • usman on July 16, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    wat ever the condition it is a person should never his style of play afridi s natural game is to attack not defence and that is wat he shud do today as well

  • OK on July 16, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    There is no case. you are correct

  • azizur & tripti on July 16, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Afridi's style of batting is unique.I thing in cricket right now classic is nothing, but run is all.... Everyone at last remember the camio inning of tendulkar 248(unbeaten)but noone can remember how many life he got from that inning(7-8). so Afridi's style is ok as well as our tamim's style...........pray for them as if they may get run.........thanks tripti to give me an idea..........

  • emran xaman on July 16, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    I completely agree to you Mark... When in dire situations one must do the thing he is best in doing... and Afridi rightly so depicted that.And austalains too are a bit suscpetible when an assault is launched on them... Remember ! at the end of the day Runs on the Board matters! little more than the fact how you managed them................ Bravo

  • Shiraz on July 16, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    I totally agree. This is the only way he knows how to play and he is good at it too. Better to try something he is good at (attack) than get out trying something that isn't his strongest suit (defense).

  • Abdul Ghaffar on July 16, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    I agree with your dtailed analysis. sure if afridi played defensive, he might be out before 20. but as a captain he should learn techniques about test cricket.

  • Nadeem Syed on July 16, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    I totally agree with you on this. Calling his inning a 'disgrace' is disgrace itself.

  • Adeel on July 16, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Cannot agree more. Commentators are perhaps too harsh at times and use inappropriate words. Funny part is some times cricketers turned commentators criticise faults of current players where as they had similar short comings in their own play while they were players ...

  • zahaib on July 16, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    spot on!

  • Mehran on July 16, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Well said my friend . I am also content with his choice. Long live Pakistan .

  • salman on July 16, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Atleast some one likes afridi or his tactics .

  • SANKAR on July 16, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    I really supporting your views...Though I am an Indian I am an Afridi fan... He done just he is known to be... I rushed to home to see his batting...

  • Mohammad Zeeshan on July 16, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    It was no doubt a stupid way to lose his wicket. Afridi had set a platform to launch himslef against the australian attack , if they would have managed to play out Shane Watson's spell Smith was likely to chance his arm with the ball . Nerves would had certainly set in for this youngster and Pakistan could have taken him to the cleaners but that was not the case.

    Its a mounting task now to reach 440 but with the zeal and passion of the Akmal brothers and a rapid fire 80 odd runs by Shahid Afridi might make the impossible possible.

  • Irfan Zafar on July 16, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Dear Afridi, it's a different type of game which need control on nerves, you are now captaining the team and coming at no 6 and even when your team need stay at wicket. Even quick 50 was'nt sufficient than stay on wicket at that time. Several time Ponting stated that they are not wary abt quick runs of Afridi or Umar Akmal bcoz it cant save or make the game. Plz be sensible now otherwise we can see another shoaib malik sitting on then bench which was captain some months ago.

  • Asif Ansari on July 16, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Interesting article Mike... however I kind of disagree with your following statement. "If he did well, he could have hung around and scored 25 off 60 before the inevitable jaffa sprayed its juice over him..."

    In my opinion, 25 off 60 could've been much better innings as compared to 31 of 15. The reason is that if he could manage to play 60 balls... the other batsman (presumably Salman Butt) could also have played about the same number of balls... and that's a big difference... Afridi came and gone in 60 seconds... and Salman Butt was stranded with tail-enders despite of the fact that he was playing so well and needed some sort of support.

  • amit on July 16, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    we love you afridi ..you rocked in the 15balls you faced.. your six shots were absolutely gems .. if you were not there .. we would be following in ..and the way ball is moving around in and out ..our tailenders wouldn't have managed more than 10runs also.

  • Saqib on July 16, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    I totally agree with you Mike! Had 4 other batsmen been a bit desgraceful lik Afridi, Pakistan might have been much closer to the target. Gilchrist was alot more quality but even his plan used to be same. When the conditions dont favor the least you can do is score few runs.

  • Shahil on July 16, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    I'm completely disagree with the word of Disgraceful" By Henry Blofd When Afridi arrived while scored was just 80 or so for 5 Wickets. Afridi wanted to counter attack for few overs some of extend he was right as well but at end he failed and results comes with 105 Runs Lead. Afridi is one the dangerous attacking player therefore he never ever change his natural game.If He forcefully try to defense Like Rahul Dravid then He rarely find 10 runs In His every Innings so that these both characters are never ever similar together.I still believe that Pakis can able to chase 440 because the he is leading a team It's been out-standing ....Yes...There is lots to improve but believe me , He will make his team At TOP ....AND AGAIN BRING IT BACK REVOLUTION TO PAKIS. CRICKET......

  • sameen khan on July 16, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    And you are wrong. Test match should not be played like a twenty twenty. What was Shahid thinking? He could have easily hung around a little bit longer...I mean why hit out on every ball, why not play like a Sehwag? You have to be judicious...A test match is a test of the mettle...He should have played like a captain...but i am hoping that it will be a learning curve for the young pakistani captain and his team! And I don't know when Farhat Imran will ever learn...He constantly gets out to blood rushing to his head!!!!

  • Prit on July 16, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    You got it all wrong Mr.Mike Holmans, regardless of the situation Afridi should understand his "roles and responsibilities" in this very young and inexperience team and give the deserved respect to the test cricket. Regardless of 17 behind or 170 quick 30 doesnt make any difference in test cricket. He was given captaincy at first place because he was the senior most player and was supposed to act as role model to this young team. He may be couragious in his approach one can say but sometimes it can really take you down.

  • Hameed Malik on July 16, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I think every one shoud play very aggressively like Afridi but make sure change plans minute to minute . If all the fielders at boundry line than just take one or two's, but you must be the enemy of the ball, almost always play with a killer instinct. Afridi did it and scored 31 and only 25 were expected from him; Max 70.

  • Mazhar on July 16, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Well! I do agree with you but partially. I personally think the attack choice was right but he should attack sensibly. He's playing as a batsman not a bowler as well as a captain of his team, and as most experienced player in the team, he need to set example for junior batsmen.

  • usman on July 16, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Before reading this article i was also thinking that afridi did a stupid thing but now i think you have got it dead right. If he would have tried to play a sensible test innings he would not have survived more than one over. Afridi has done his SWOT analysis and he knows defense his biggest weakness so why not play to his strength

  • Chaminda Alocious on July 16, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    I might not think Shahid Afridi's cameo as a disgraceful inning with since surviving on pitch that has deadly swing and when you see other ends class players are failing against unplayable deliveries.When you know that his name is Shahid Afridi's that having one of the best strike rate in the world best option to attach rather waiting on a put side edge.If someone doesn't get it You having a mind with conventional cricket. I like afiridi's way ever since he step to cricket world.He will get matured as a test player remember he is not made to play test cricket . He is a great player with Limited over format.

  • Jazz Nevill on July 16, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Mike, I wish I could totally agree with you, and in a part I do. Test cricket is often not open to enough quick thinking and judging what's required depending on the circumstances. Quite often players fear to break out of the traditional blueprints. However, this is TEST cricket and Afridi's pyrotechnic display (whilst entertaining), was not what was needed. A test captain must lead by example and in the first innings, and 5 down, he needed to support Salman and his team better. Perhaps after a quickfire 30, he might have reassessed things a bit and at least started to pick his shots rather then pre-empt them? Had it been the second innings & 170 down (and it may well turn out to be the case), I would probably be inclined to be less critical of his approach.

  • Boom Boom on July 16, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Absolutely right! Excellent read and I couldn't agree more with your analysis. It's worth taking a cursory glance at recent events in light of this piece.

    Let's see, they replaced Yousuf because he went on the defensive in a single session and lost us a game. They cursed his defensive tactics and said they want Pakistan to play attacking cricket, and so they bring in Afridi, and hope he will unlike Yousuf, attack attack attack. Strangely, when he does what he was brought in to do, they call it "disgraceful". I ask, who is truly the disgraceful party?

  • adnan riffat on July 16, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    ya u r right buddy boom boom afridi is always playing his natural game like t-20 but he should know his responsibilities among a youngsters team that he must have to change his batting style at least in test matches.. a place where he should come earlier he is still coming at 6th 7th number..when all batsman who could teach & get some encouragment from captain get some leson from him..he have spirit for winning but he dont have mind of winning..he must play now some sensible innings.because he is a CAPTAIN not a player who dont have responsibility of winning or loosing.he must come at one down position & control on his un necessary hitings & just stay on the wicket

  • Sufyan Usman on July 16, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I completely agree with what you say. Under the circumstances that was the only way to play. Sooner or later he would have been out done by a decent delievery and would have ended up scoring far less runs than his 30 odd runs!

  • sinner on July 16, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    hi.........u r ryt Mr.Mike.....Afridi shud realise the situation and he shud play under crucial-circumstances as pakistan need to chase a Himaliyaa(so huge) target.....but as far as i hv seen afridi in past 12years...he have been so reckless and jus playing sluggy shots.... i dont tink so that he wud do well in this innings..but as far as captain responsiblity is concern..he shud do well as pakistan has completely 2days and 9wickets.. !..lets c who'll survive englishes or step-in-enhlishes...!.. Mind it! bYe!

  • asif saleem on July 16, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    excellent blog... completely agree with you attack is best form of defence and he should continue to play his game because thats where his stregnth is.

  • Talha on July 16, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Finally a man that can understand that the pitch and conditions were not suited for afridi to try and bat it out... especially in his first test. What people didnt see is that all his shots that went to the boundary were proper cricket shots and not slogs. Yes there is room for improvement but cant take anything away from his innings.

  • Saad Ali on July 16, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    I think Afridi should play in Test just like he has recently started playing in ODIs. I like his approach in ODI he wait for a while then he starts the beating. Mostly he ends up in 30s. which is a good contribution in ODI. unlike Abdur Razzaq who just waste balls. if he score in 30s in tests I wud b happy with him. and after all he brings life in test matches.

  • Joji on July 16, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Very well said. I am not going to miss any articles from this man any more!!!

  • Adeel on July 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    That is exactly what i argued with my friends. His Assault made perfect sense. Other things can be argued upon like if he doesnt have a sound technique then why is he in a test team playing at 7 or why did pakistan had such thin batting to reach to that position? Enough has already been said about that but given the circumstances i think he had no option but to counterattack. This could also have rattled the aussies for a bit too since u did see the grin disappear for a while from shane watson's face although he eventually got it back :D ... I second ur opinion on this one for sure

  • Farooq Nomani on July 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Sir, you took the words right out of my mouth and Im glad they didnt come from mine otherwise they may have been dismissed as jingoism. I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion - defense is certainly the best form of attack, more so if you have Afridi's defensive limitations. He is hardly the type who will be marshaling the tail and inevitably an unplayable or decent ball would have accounted for his wicket given his limitations as a batsman. So it was either 30 off 80 balls or 30 of 10. Afridi chose the latter course. And, as pointed out by you, if he had scored around 40 more in that fashion the momentum would have shifted our way. And you know what the Pakistan team is capable of doing with momentum.

  • shahrukh on July 16, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Hello First of all i don't understand you are praising AFridi's efforts or criticizing, because there is no way 3o runs is enough in Test cricket. Second he should have stayed at the crese fought it out like a Soldier and then smash the balls, that would be the appropriate option.

  • jehanzzeb on July 16, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Absolutely right. I totally agree with you. Afridi does not have the ability to stay on the wicket for a long period of time and there wasn't much batting to come after him so his approach was justified.

  • Anonymous on July 16, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Excellent Article Mike. I hope Henry Blofeld reads this.

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  • Anonymous on July 16, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Excellent Article Mike. I hope Henry Blofeld reads this.

  • jehanzzeb on July 16, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Absolutely right. I totally agree with you. Afridi does not have the ability to stay on the wicket for a long period of time and there wasn't much batting to come after him so his approach was justified.

  • shahrukh on July 16, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Hello First of all i don't understand you are praising AFridi's efforts or criticizing, because there is no way 3o runs is enough in Test cricket. Second he should have stayed at the crese fought it out like a Soldier and then smash the balls, that would be the appropriate option.

  • Farooq Nomani on July 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Sir, you took the words right out of my mouth and Im glad they didnt come from mine otherwise they may have been dismissed as jingoism. I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion - defense is certainly the best form of attack, more so if you have Afridi's defensive limitations. He is hardly the type who will be marshaling the tail and inevitably an unplayable or decent ball would have accounted for his wicket given his limitations as a batsman. So it was either 30 off 80 balls or 30 of 10. Afridi chose the latter course. And, as pointed out by you, if he had scored around 40 more in that fashion the momentum would have shifted our way. And you know what the Pakistan team is capable of doing with momentum.

  • Adeel on July 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    That is exactly what i argued with my friends. His Assault made perfect sense. Other things can be argued upon like if he doesnt have a sound technique then why is he in a test team playing at 7 or why did pakistan had such thin batting to reach to that position? Enough has already been said about that but given the circumstances i think he had no option but to counterattack. This could also have rattled the aussies for a bit too since u did see the grin disappear for a while from shane watson's face although he eventually got it back :D ... I second ur opinion on this one for sure

  • Joji on July 16, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Very well said. I am not going to miss any articles from this man any more!!!

  • Saad Ali on July 16, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    I think Afridi should play in Test just like he has recently started playing in ODIs. I like his approach in ODI he wait for a while then he starts the beating. Mostly he ends up in 30s. which is a good contribution in ODI. unlike Abdur Razzaq who just waste balls. if he score in 30s in tests I wud b happy with him. and after all he brings life in test matches.

  • Talha on July 16, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Finally a man that can understand that the pitch and conditions were not suited for afridi to try and bat it out... especially in his first test. What people didnt see is that all his shots that went to the boundary were proper cricket shots and not slogs. Yes there is room for improvement but cant take anything away from his innings.

  • asif saleem on July 16, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    excellent blog... completely agree with you attack is best form of defence and he should continue to play his game because thats where his stregnth is.

  • sinner on July 16, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    hi.........u r ryt Mr.Mike.....Afridi shud realise the situation and he shud play under crucial-circumstances as pakistan need to chase a Himaliyaa(so huge) target.....but as far as i hv seen afridi in past 12years...he have been so reckless and jus playing sluggy shots.... i dont tink so that he wud do well in this innings..but as far as captain responsiblity is concern..he shud do well as pakistan has completely 2days and 9wickets.. !..lets c who'll survive englishes or step-in-enhlishes...!.. Mind it! bYe!