Pakistan v Australia, 2nd T20I, Dubai September 8, 2012

Afridi expected to miss final T20

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi is unlikely to play in the final Twenty20 due to his ongoing thumb injury but Saeed Ajmal is expected to be fit after hurting his left shoulder during Pakistan's win on Friday. The captain Mohammad Hafeez said Pakistan would make some changes after securing the series with a 2-0 lead and he was keen to give some game time to some of the men who were not used in the first two matches.

Pakistan took an unbeatable lead over Australia by prevailing in the Super Over in Dubai in the second match and next week the teams head to Sri Lanka ahead of the ICC World Twenty20. With such an important tournament approaching, Hafeez said there seemed little point risking Afridi in Monday's dead rubber.

"I don't think so, because he's still not feeling that good," Hafeez told reporters in Dubai. "I don't want to take any chance because I want him in the World Cup. He's a match-winner for Pakistan, there's no doubt. I don't think he will be available. We'll have to see. If he recovers well he's always the first choice for me as a captain but at the moment I don't think he will be available for the third game."

However, Hafeez said he anticipated that Ajmal, who on Friday drew level with Afridi as the all-time leading T20 international wicket taker, would be available for the final game. Ajmal collected 2 for 20 from his four overs but injured his shoulder in the process, which meant Pakistan could not use him to bowl the Super Over.

"He was not feeling well. That was the reason we decided to go with Umar Gul [for the Super Over]," Hafeez said. "He was having a little bit of pain [in his left shoulder] and that was the reason the physio suggested not to go with him. I feel he will recover in one or two days because it is not a big injury. But he will recover from that for the next game."

With the World T20 so close, Pakistan are keen to give an opportunity to some of the men who have missed the first two games, but who may be required in Sri Lanka. Mohammad Sami, Asad Shafiq and Yasir Arafat are in the squad but have not yet played in the T20 series and Hafeez said while a decision had not been made on who would come in, Pakistan would make some changes.

"We might try a couple of things because I believe everybody should get a chance," he said. "Definitely we will give a chance to some of the players who have been sitting on the bench. I know they are good enough."

Hafeez has now lost only one of his four matches as Pakistan's T20 captain and the signs are encouraging ahead of the World T20, with runs coming from the top order and wickets being shared among the bowlers. He said he was happy with the way the team was building towards the world tournament.

"As a captain I'm very pleased the way the boys are responding under pressure," Hafeez said. "Especially matches like that when you win you always get the right feeling back in the dressing room and everybody is very confident to do the job for Pakistan. Whenever I ask for someone to do the job everybody is there. As a captain I feel very proud of my team."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sami on September 10, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    It doesn't matter if Afridi plays or not because he is just an ordinary player and definitely not an all-rounder because his stats don't back that up. Mind you he doesn't even play Test Cricket so that shows it. Very good bowler though no doubt about that but his batting is definitely not boom boom :)

  • Cricket on September 10, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    Posted by shakaibkhan on (September 09 2012, 16:45 PM GMT) : - I agree with you that it is good that Misbah & Younis are not playing in this T20 series. Younis Khan has retitred from Internatinal T20 and Misbah has been dropped from the T20 side. Misbah is displeased by the selectors decision to drop him from the T20 series & from the World cup squad. I hope the selectors drop these two from the ODI squad as well. These two (Younis & Misbah) along with Taufeeq Umar are good for Test Matches only. I hope they stay there.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    boom boom love you soooooooooooooooo much

  • Yasir on September 9, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    Happy to see Younus and Misbah out of team. Youngsters are much better. These two old guys were there in Pakistan's teams in last three world's cup. We know what we did in these world cups and we also know these old gun's performance in the important matches. Its time we say good by to Younus and Misbah in One days as well.

  • Dr Mohammad Bashir on September 9, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik and Anwar Ali is my choice for upcoming T20 world cup.If they don't include newcomer Anwar Ali,then Sohail Tanvir should be part of team and Raza Hassan or Yasir Arafat should be considered as 12th man(substitute)

  • Cricket on September 9, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Posted by shaz321 on (September 09 2012, 06:49 AM GMT) : - correction. Yasir Arafat for Abdur Rehman and I.Nazir for Shoeb Mallik and swap batting order of Afridi & Kamran 1. Hafeez, 2.Jamshed, 3. Kamran , 4. Imran Nazir, 5. Umar A, 6. Afridi , 7. A.Razzaq, 8. Y.Arafat, 9.Tanvir , 10. Gul, 11. Ajmal

  • Cricket on September 9, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Shahid Khan Afridi is the joint highest wicket taker in T20 along with Saeed Ajmal. He the best fielder in the present team. on a given day he can turn a match on its head with the bat or with the ball or with both. No one should entertain any doubts about Afridi's class, caliber, ability in the limited overs format of the game. By the time he retires he will have many more records to his name.

  • Cricket on September 9, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    @ psu19976 :- Misbah is at the end of his carrier. especially limited overs cricket. I hope Misbah stays in Test matches only. Shahid Khan Afridi is a legend. He will bounce back during the T20 world cup. He likes mega events. After Wasim & Waqar he is the third higest wicket taker for Pakistan in ODI's. Also I would like to mention that he is the fastest century maker, youngest century maker, fastest fifty maker, most sixes - IN ODI's . Among current players he is the highest wicket taker in ODI's. He holds the most number of records in ODI's. He is the Imran Khan of today. AFRIDI IS THE BEST FIELDER PAKISTAN HAS EVER PRODUCED. In a team were players feel that dropping catches is ok and misfielding is acceptable, he is the only shinning light.

  • Cricket on September 9, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    I agree that with such an important tournament coming up, Afridi should not be risked for a dead rubber. Yasir Ararafat should be given a game and also Abdul Razzaq should be given more bowling opportunities in the last match, Razzaq is going to be important cog in the wheel during the world cup. Ajmal & Tanvir can be rested.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Since everybody is naming their dream teams... here it goes:

    Open: Hafeez + Jamshed (left right combination). At 1 down, if Hafeez get's out, Kamran or Malik are probably the best choice, if Jamshed get's out, Imran Nazir should follow. 2 Down: Umar Akmal, then rest of the batting line including Afridi and Razzak. Later I'd include Arafat or Anwar Ali (saw Anwar in U19 world cup some years ago, he's good). Sohail should be out. He can't produce magic against good sides. He takes wickets mostly for his action good sides are usually prepared for it. And in the end, Gul and Ajmal.

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