Why 'Boom Boom' should be captain
For all those Afridi bashers, here are some in-your-face statistics that will make you think again!
With the cricket World Cup less than 25 days away, Team Pakistan still finds itself without a leader for the mega event.
By not announcing Shahid Afridi as captain so close to the international cricket tournament, the PCB has again given us a practical example of how incompetent their management is. Why they allowed this uncertainty to prevail before such an important event is a mystery to me, and one that is so befuddling it makes me want to protest outside their office.
I don’t agree with people who claim that Afridi doesn’t perform well as captain. Although I do not want to make my love for the flamboyant Afridi public, I will present an ‘in-your-face’ argument to Afridi-bashers, based on stats.
Debuting as captain against the West Indies in the Champions Trophy in South Africa back in 2009, Afridi has played 16 matches as ODI captain. Under his captaincy, Pakistan has had six victories. Ten of the losses under his captaincy have included thrilling matches against India and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, a last over loss against England at Leeds, and a two run loss to South Africa in Dubai. I lament these losses, they still hurt, but these were close matches, and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
In the six games that we won under Afridi’s captaincy, he averaged 58 runs with the bat. If you include the other ten games (games that we lost), he averages 33.80. For someone batting at number six or seven, that is a healthy average.
To add to this, he has picked up 16 wickets during his captaincy. He ended 2010 with 19 wickets, becoming the joint-highest-wicket-taker with Shoaib Akhtar. Did I forget to mention that he top-scored that year with the bat too?
Afridi is someone who has performed consistently better as ODI captain. His ability to lead the team in these tumultuous times has been commendable; three of our core players have been suspended, our wicket keeper decided to fly to England hours before the team was meant to play a series-decider while the players of his choice are not included in the squad.
Misbahul Haq (the other alternative) is sensible, I agree. He led us to our first test win after four years and scored 50’s in seven out of eight innings as captain of the test team. But does this qualify him as captain of a team he was not a part of for most of the year?
Misbah was dropped from the ODI side, and dropped again after making his comeback in the first two games against South Africa in the UAE. Why should he be brought back as captain? Misbah will play a major part in the World Cup as a middle-order batsman, but why must he captain the team?
Salman Butt has in the past called Afridi a “clueless captain” who “does not lead from the front”. I would like to remind Butt, that he averaged a mere 16 runs against England just a few months ago. He was captain for four test matches and scored 128 runs in 8 innings. Did he lead from the front? You decide.