Pakistan v Australia 2010 July 8, 2010

Afridi wants Pakistan to replicate T20 form in Tests

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has rallied his players to carry forward their consistency in the Twenty20s against Australia to the two-Test series that begins at Lord's on July 13. After getting hammered by Australia in all formats of the game earlier this year and in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Pakistan hit back by winning both the Twenty20s at Edgbaston to get their England tour off to a resounding start.

"I think now that we have regained our winning habit we must work harder to maintain it and make winning a habit," Afridi told a Pakistani sports channel. "I knew sooner or later we will win back-to-back matches because we have been performing well since the Twenty20 World Cup but missed out in close matches."

Twenty20 cricket has suited Pakistan both technically and temperamentally and their crowning moment was the World Twenty20 title win in 2009 in England. However, their form in Tests hasn't been up to the mark, having been beaten 3-0 by Australia away, and drawing a three-Test series in New Zealand 1-1 before that. Afridi, whose leadership has won himself admirers, is determined to reverse that trend in the longer format.

"There is a difference and we have to be aware of this," Afridi said. "But the good thing is that a win is a win in any form of the game and this series win should serve a confidence booster for us ahead of the Tests."

The coach Waqar Younis agreed that the team can take a lot of confidence into the Test series. "I think these two wins are really going to help us to get into the momentum," Waqar said. "Test matches are a different ball game fair enough, but with victory behind you it always helps."

With senior players Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan missing the tour despite their bans being lifted by the PCB, Afridi threw his weight behind the younger players to fill the gap. Yousuf hasn't yet come out of retirement while Younis was left out due to disciplinary reasons.

"Obviously we will miss their experience. I wanted them in the team for this tour and I tried my best to see they were in the team but for different reasons this couldn't happen and it is unfortunate," Afridi said. "But one has to manage with the available resources so right now I am focusing completely on the team I have, on the new players because they are the ones who will fight for Pakistan in the Test matches and I retain confidence they can do this."

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  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Pow pow pow paki power!!! we gonna crush those aussies!

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    i think good support can make a difference for any team & so far Pakistan got a good support in England, as Aus is getting 100% support in their grounds and apponents none. Boom Boom Pakistan....

    got a chance to wish the team Good Luck when they were leaving HolidayInn-Leicester yesterday.

    Good Luck Pakistani Team

  • Greg on July 11, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    To Testcric4ever, get your facts straight mate. India beat us at home, we beat them at home, meaningless stat. We beat SA in South Africa! Two meaningless T20 games, mean naff all. It is test cricket. We thrashed Pakistan in Australia and we will win again. We are a better team, read, team, Pakistan rely on individuals, not the team. So dream on all you would be's if you could be. OZ rules, ok!

  • cric on July 10, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    Yousuf and Younis/Misbah did not contribue much on the NZ/Aus series, so this team selection makes sense only for the 2 Aus Tests. If it fails better to bring Younis and/or Yousuf back and stick to the other players who played in the Aussie series. Confidence grows many fold since Afridi is captain and he says Winning Habits started, thats a good sign. Players can't see his face in the dressing room if they fail again and again.

    I expect, Amir, Afridi, Akmals, one of the new comers really perform well in this series. Believe me Aussies never be on top on PAK recently but it was PAK's mistake let them dominate, but this time its not going to happen, i believe.

    I see fear from non-pak supporters that PAK will start winning and they can't digest so seeing lots of wrong wishing than telling the actuals on the ground. Hope the team does well, like Bangladesh did to England today.

  • Salman on July 10, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    u can criticise pakistan team all you want but let me remind you that throughout pak history we have played our cricket with intensity and passion. We might not have experience in the longer form of the game but this young team is looking good and eager to learn. For all those who say Pak will loose 2-0 and 4-0 well you can stop being ignorant and watch what happens. Aamer, Umar Akmal have a chance to shine against the top opposition and inshallah they will avail of that opportunity. As far as Afridi's comment is concerned well all I can say is that it is good confidence captaincy. You are not going to beat Australia with a negative attitude. Under his captaincy Pak is looking like a TEAM and will prove the critics wrong. INSHALLAH.

  • cric on July 10, 2010, 23:12 GMT

    Really don't know where/why is Asim Kamal (stupid selectors believed he was not a fit as openers when so many middle order batsmen played well that time-younis,yosuf,malik,inzi,moin)/Shabbir Ahamed(who was sent for some bowling correction after he took 5 wks in a test) being missed for so many years. Same story continues in case of Sami who did the Sydney magic but he was fair on T20s too but not given much support/chances (though I know about his average). Lets hope this is the final story of the PCB/Selectors mismanagement but still I point again players to play consistently so that not to give chances to Selectors.

    This team looks very promising but they need, I hope Afridi as the captain, bowler and surprisingly as Batsman will help in one of these departments in every innings that equal to 3 players contribution if he performs in all departments. Looks like Yasir Hameed will make use of his final chance. Can't assure Umar Amin/Azar Ali till they prove. Winning habits started.

  • P on July 10, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    @SangakaraFan: You are right in your statistics. However, Pak. has not been playing a lot of test cricket. They lost the test series in Australia miserably. But they played the game after a long time. In one game, Pak. came very close to victory only to see their batsmen gave it away. Pak. balling is untarnished despite all the difficiulties they had as a nation and as a team. The current series is not any different. Pak. batting will be tested. Pak can only win if they have great batting. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, I think they are the best balanced team in the world. India is batting strong, bowling weak. Pak is bowling strong and batting weak.

  • P on July 10, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    @Hayley Brown: Yes, T20 is rediculuous. Now, they want to mess up ODI with two T20 innings. T20 would probably destroy cricket. Look at all how Australia, England, Pakistan etc. have become so unpredictable in ODI/Tests. Today, Bangladesh beat England, when England won ODI series against Australia. England were T20 champions and Australia beat Pakistan in semi-final of T20 world cup. Pak. beats Aust. 2-0 in T20. All of this happened in 2 months. Under normal logic these things cannot be fully explained. I think the only thing that can be predictable is bowling. Batting varies a lot in different formats of the game. The aspects of bowling-- line, length, speed, swing, spin etc.-- remain equally important in all three aspects of the game. T20 is damaging batting skills, I think. Either way, I think Pak. fast bowling is the best in the world. Some really high quality bowlers.

  • salman on July 10, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    those people who are saying T20 is a game of luck you got to be kidding or maybe you have no idea about cricket. Sachin hit the most run in IPL 2010 pure luck. Dilshan hit the most run 2009 pure luck, gul reverse swing and 6 balls 6 accurate yorkers pure luck. how many time in test cricket the ball goes between gully and a slip but this isn't a luck. Of course any sport you need luck and also a good game and a hard work. What I think is the one who work hard gets the luck. Ok Afridi said he wants to keep the winning habit. I think he is working hard to bring a team to a 1 single plate form. But no doubt Aussies are best and won't give you a game just like that. Afridi team needs to work hard to beat Aussies. Ofcourse Australia is favourite. I love test so I will enjoy 5 day of cricket. I hope Pakistan give us some cricket. Boom Boom Afridi

  • cric on July 10, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Bedwetters like Speeds, Boycottables, H(C)owards, Chappl(es), Other Hate Commenters, etc. definitely don't like PAK team but they will get a good response through Afridi's men. I think PAK's 5 years of failure is over, probably its for other team to fall probably Aus/Ind?

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