LAHORE: Former National Cricket Academy (NCA) Director Mudassar Nazar believes Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was unlucky with his on-field decisions during the team’s 34- run loss to Australia.
“In the match against Australia, I think Afridi did not have any luck with all the decisions he took,” said Mudassar, who added that the choice of bowlers had a huge say in Pakistan’s loss. “Afridi’s move to open the attack with [Mohammad] Hafeez backfired and giving three straight overs to Mohammad Aamer at the start of the innings was a bad move too.”
Aamer conceded 23 runs in a three-over spell but created a Twenty20 record with a fivewicket final over without giving away any runs. Mudassar, who worked with the young bowler when he was director of the NCA said that Aamer was the type of bowler more useful and effective towards the final overs of the innings, particularly due to his ability to swing the older ball.
“If Aamer is believed to be good in opening the innings, he’s even more lethal during the last few overs because of his angle and swinging yorkers, which he amply demonstrated in that final over.” Mudassar also backed captain Shahid Afridi to perform well in the latter stages of the tournament providing Pakistan goes through.
Afridi, the second highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals, remains wicket-less after two matches. “Afridi’s poor form is alarming even for himself. But I believe he’s good enough to recover and will surely make a difference in the next games. “The loss against Australia may be forgiven if Pakistan go through but their loss against Zimbabwe in the second warmup highlighted the weak points of the squad, something that they need to work on.”
Pakistan were left without a specialist death-bowler in Twenty20 following the injury to Umar Gul who was omittd from the squad and was forced to miss Pakistan’s title-defence in the West Indies.