Afridi dropped: A welcome decision!
Afridi does not deserve a place in the team; he was only selected in the T20 side because he used to be Shahid Afridi.
Pakistan cricket fans are divided into three categories; one, those who have cricketing knowledge and love cricket; two, those who have cricketing knowledge, love cricket and love Afridi and three, those who just love Afridi.
First of all, I’m a fan of Afridi and he has been my favourite player for a very long time but he is not more important than the Pakistani cricket team. Anyone who belongs to the first two categories will know Shahid Afridi does not deserve a place in the team and he was only selected in the T20 side because he is Shahid Afridi.
Shahid Afridi is a Pakistani player just like anyone else. If Younis Khan can be dropped from the ODI side for just a couple of bad performances; Misbah ul Haq can be dropped from the T20’s and stripped off from his captaincy title for no apparent reason or maybe for playing ‘slow’ against England; Aizaz Cheema can be dropped after winning us the Asia Cup then Afridi can be dropped over poor performances for the past one year.
People will argue that he was leading the side well and should still be captain; people will argue that he was a threat to India; people will argue why a specific person was selected and not Afridi - people will have a thousand reasons to place him in the team, but let’s be logical shall we?
Shahid Afridi was not performing and got more chances than anyone else ever did.
People in the last category, those who only like Shahid Afridi, are confused about his actual role. Is he an all rounder, or a bowler who can bat?
Regardless of the fruitless argument, in both the cases he has just not been good enough.
In the year 2012, Shahid Afridi has played 16 out of Pakistan’s 17 matches scoring just 182 runs at an average of 15.16 and a strike rate of 101.67. If that’s not enough both, his average and strike rate, are less than that of Umar Gul’s in 2012.
15 wickets at an average of 43.13 (including five against Afghanistan) don’t help either.
Shahid Afridi has just eight wickets in 11 T20 matches this year at an average of 33.87.
Poor lad, Yasir Arafat has ten wickets in six T20 matches at an average on 12.10, even better than Saeed Ajmal’s average, and he too, was dropped.
But I don’t recall anyone speaking out for him!
The best criteria, for anyone to be selected, should be based on their most recent performances and Shahid Afridi was just not good enough. Let’s face facts: he was not even in the top fifty batsmen in the recently concluded FBT20 Tournament, nor was he in the top 25 bowlers.
With all due respect, more often than not Shahid Afridi has let down Pakistan.
Coming into bat and throwing his wicket away as if it means nothing, especially when Pakistan needed him the most and failing as a bowler too -this level of performance is just not acceptable at the international level and for the sake of the team, cannot be accepted!
Dropping him at this point can only be good for Afridi. This will give him time to reflect upon his performances and make him realise that he needs to work harder on his game. If he thinks he can perform for Pakistan and win matches then there is no doubt he will bounce back.
This incident, will, perhaps, also make people realise that individuals do not make the game great- it’s the combined effort and skill of all the players that make the game.
This post originally appeared here.
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