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'I am still better than lots of players' - Afridi

Umar Farooq

July 2, 2013

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Shahid Afridi smashed 34 off 16 deliveries, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Bloemfontein, March 10, 2013
Shahid Afridi is still keen on playing both shorter formats of the game © AFP
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Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi's ODI career has a question mark hanging over it after he was dropped twice in the last six months following poor runs, but he remains hopeful of making a comeback for the upcoming West Indies series and is keen on playing both shorter formats.

In the 21 ODIs he has played since January 2012, Afridi has picked up 15 wickets at 57.13 and scored 308 runs at 19.25. While he is an automatic selection in the Twenty20 squad, he last made an ODI comeback on the tour to South Africa earlier this year, where he remained wicketless and scored 126 in four innings with a high score of 88. He was subsequently dropped from the Champions Trophy, and has not played competitive cricket since April.

Now, though, he is pushing himself hard to be ready for the West Indies series that begins with a practice one-dayer on July 11. He has been training at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore over the past couple of weeks, and he passed the fitness test he was subjected to. The Pakistan selectors will meet in Lahore on Wednesday afternoon to finalise the squad, and Afridi said he still had the desire and skills to make the team. "I am doing my best and working so hard in the nets at the National Cricket Academy over the past two-three weeks. I have working on many areas of the game and I want to play both [shorter] forms of the game.

"I think I am still better than lots of players; there should be professional jealousy in me. I know how important my performance is as a senior player for the team. You can't judge a player based only on Twenty20 performance."

Dropping "match-winners", Afridi said, was not the way to go. Key players, he said, even when they lose form, should "stay with the team". "Poor form doesn't really reflect that a player is at the wrong side of his game," he said. "Those players who are around with the team for years and are also match-winners should be kept with the team to boost their confidence. Teams are carrying their match-winners like David Warner [despite him being suspended]. You can't be in form if you stay out of the team."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by android_user on (July 15, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

i think afridi is the best player in pak team. He is match winner yaar,cant compare with other player

Posted by   on (July 4, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

I love Afridi but i need to ask him.. how long has a player need to be playing without making significant contribution to the team.. being senior or star player should not be the credential to be in the team.. Play well stay in !! Otherwise give young guys a chance !!

Posted by   on (July 4, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

@dmqi i think 10% think Fuad Alam in team. He is not a good Player. S,K,F dropped and Afridi and Shezaad and Umer comes in its a Good Move for Pk Team. i missed Razaaq he should be in team. but he is not misfortune for Pakistan ...

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (July 4, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

PCB is without ideas and just keep rotating players who are sub-standard. Afridi is a classic example of this who has lost so many matches for Pakistan and only won a few. He fails in 9 innings and performs in one. Just compare his statistics to the players of other international teams. Afridi should be out for good while Umar Akmal should be kept out of test cricket as he is sub-standard too. Only occasionally and because other players are not performing either, Umar can be given chances in limited over cricket.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

Move Afridi once you have found a suitable replacement (a spinner who can be handful with the bat). Dropping Malik was a no brainer. He is not a front line batsman and has done practically nothing with the bowling. Hafeez has had his struggles with the bat, but the guy is more than handy as a bowler. So his inclusion in the team is automatic. Once again, logic is, find a better player, move him in the team at the expense of someone who is not performing.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Afridi still has the ability to contribute he has had a lean patch but in South Africa he seemed to be regaining his touch with the bat he scored a quick fire 34 and than the breathtaking 88. I think he will comeback hungry. His real age being around 36 I think he can play till 2015 WC.

Posted by dmqi on (July 4, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

I am going to have a good 4th of July Barbecue party today in Maryland near DC, as Malik, Kamran and Farhat has been dropped. We all were looking for good young players, we got a few. If I get two more replacement, I will have a bigger party in the future. Can anyone tell me who the other two are?

Posted by Rage468 on (July 4, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

Thank God.... Shoaib malik, farhat and kamranakmal are gone. .. We need talented and consistent players like hammad azam, haris sohail and ahmad shehzad..

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