December 21, 2012

Former Pakistan captain and the veteran pace bowler Wasim Akram, on Wednesday came hard on the Pakistan Cricket Board selectors for dropping flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi from the ODI squad for the India tour, while retaining him for the T20 leg of the itinerary.

While speaking to media reporters, the legendary left-arm swinger said that if Afridi’s form was not satisfactory then the selectors should have dropped him for the T20s as well. He further said that senior players like Afridi will be needed to handle the pressure in the high-voltage encounters against the arch-rivals.

“I don’t understand what the selectors are thinking. If they consider him out of favour, they shouldn’t have picked him for the T20 matches as well,” Wasim told reporters here.

“Afridi is a senior player and someone of whom the opposition is always worried about. In India, you need experienced players to handle the pressure and tension,” the former Pakistan skipper went on to add.

The PCB selectors last week dropped the 32-year-old flamboyant all-rounder from the squad for the three One Day Internationals against India, citing his struggling form. They, however, retained the hard-hitting batsman for the two T20 Internationals against the Men in Blue, which precede the ODI series.

The leg-spinning all-rounder has been struggling for form since the ICC World Cup in early 2011. The last 16 One Day International appearances saw the former Pakistan skipper amassing a tally of just 182 runs, including only one half century.

Besides struggling with the bat, he has also failed to make an impact with his right-arm leg-spin. In the ICC World T20 championship in Sri Lanka, Afridi, who is best known for his fastest ODI century, scored just 30 runs in six matches, and picked up only four wickets.

However, during the 50-over practice matches in the ongoing conditioning camp at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Afridi smashed back-to-back half centuries to catch his skipper’s eye.

“If his form remains like this and we need him, we will definitely consider him,” Misbah said at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. “The form of senior players, who are experienced enough, is very important. They are seniors, whenever you give performances like this it will be good for Pakistan,” he added further.

Pakistan team leaves for India on December 22, while the tour will start with a T20 International in Bangalore two days later, on December 25, 2012.

Courtesy: BETTOR.COM

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