We want Afridi back in the team: Misbah

Published: January 2, 2013
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Misbah likened Afridi’s present form to players who, despite their flair for performing well, are sometimes unable to play with the same intensity. PHOTO: AFP

Misbah likened Afridi’s present form to players who, despite their flair for performing well, are sometimes unable to play with the same intensity. PHOTO: AFP

KOLKATA: Shahid Afridi scored just 314 runs and took 24 wickets in 29 matches last year but Misbahul Haq admitted the former captain’s absence was being felt in the middle, especially as Misbah looked around for options during the MS Dhoni onslaught in Chennai.

Afridi hit just two half-centuries in the year and took a solitary five-wicket haul – against Afghanistan in February – and was subsequently dumped from the ODI squad. Misbah, though, hoped for his quick return, confirming that the allrounder still has a lot left in the tank.

“Every player goes through a period where, despite his class and talent, he is unable to perform at his usual level or perform according to expectations,” said Misbah, ahead of the second ODI in Kolkata.

“We also want Afridi back in the team but it has to be at the right time and when he has regained his confidence as well as form. He’s not out of the team forever. He’s an asset for Pakistan and has a lot of cricket left in him.”

Afridi is Pakistan’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs (346 wickets in 344 matches) and, despite making his debut as a leg-spinner who could bat, is sixth in the list of all-time most run-scorers for the country with 7,038 runs.

His stand-out show in 2011 – when he also led Pakistan to the World Cup semi-finals – elevated the level of expectations from the allrounder as he scored over 500 runs and took 46 wickets in 30 matches. And it’s his knack of breaking partnerships is what Misbah is currently missing.

“Afridi’s been part of the team for a very long time and it’s his wicket-taking ability in the middle of the innings that we miss the most.

“We need his bowling more right now and that’s where his form has dipped considerably. Now we have to rely on the current group of bowlers to do the job for us until Afridi’s back in the team.”

Pakistan’s next limited-overs series starts on March 1 with the first Twenty20 against South Africa.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • sensible
    Jan 3, 2013 - 12:07AM

    after playing 344 matches he still can’t reatin his place in side, this shows how medicore and overrated cricketer afridi is, over the years selectors kept giving him chances after chances just coz he plays one good innings thats once in a blue moon. I can bet this guy would not have played more than 50 matches, had he played for any other country. I can also bet that no true cricket lover and the people who understands the game considers afridi a even a good cricketer, there is a difference between a great cricketer and a mediocre entertainer!

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  • Mirza
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:03AM

    An out of form Afridi would be brought in at the cost of which youngster? The problem is Pakistan finally is gelling into a winning combination, so let us upset the apple cart?

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  • Pakistan
    Jan 3, 2013 - 11:09AM

    @sensible: I think you have no go through his stats. He got 346 wicket in ODI which is no 3 for Pakistan. He has made 7,038 wickest for Pakistan which no 7 on the list. He got most no of Match of Matches award for Pakistan. He has hit most sixes in ODIs. He is no 3 wicket taker in T20s. Above all he is a good leader who took the team to WC Semifinals when the team was very much down and no one was expacting from them.

    Whatelse do want from him.

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  • Sufi
    Jan 3, 2013 - 4:00PM

    We want you out of the team, let alone the below average afridi to bank on in the middle order. If you got to bring someone it has to be Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin.

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  • HKhan
    Jan 3, 2013 - 4:09PM

    We DON’T

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  • Jan 3, 2013 - 4:23PM

    Let alone Afridi, we want Misbah out of squad.

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  • King
    Jan 3, 2013 - 5:54PM

    If he is out of team for his performance than some other player should be out too. He should be in the team or not is not my concern but at least he should be respected for what he has done. One the greatest thing about him is that he never ever involved in match fixing and always play with honesty and dignity.

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  • jiyala
    Jan 3, 2013 - 9:48PM

    @ King, yeah sure. Biting a ball in front of thousands of people was pretty honest and dignified of him. (He was caught on camera biting the ball during a match)

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  • Frantic
    Jan 3, 2013 - 10:31PM

    WE DON’T !!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 4, 2013 - 2:35AM

    Misbah’s own performace is so bad that he wants Afridi for distraction.

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  • Badr Siddiqui
    Jan 4, 2013 - 9:48AM

    Shoaib Malik out. Afridi in. That’s what I want to hear.

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  • Tanveer
    Jan 4, 2013 - 3:07PM

    We dont need him… the team at this moment s doing very good… New blood has come in which was blocked by Afridi and his comrades such as Mibah and Younis… We need to get rid of Misbah and Younis too.

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  • Tahir
    Jan 4, 2013 - 5:36PM

    @King:

    You are forgetting his pitch tampering controversy plus ball “apple bite”. His record is not clean when it comes to that. Yeah he was not involved in match fixing but that doesn’t make him totally an honest person.

    As a player, he is a hit or miss player, never a solid player and could never be a legend. Not to take away anything from him but age is catching up to him and his time is over He should recognise this sooner than later otherwise he will face more humiliation.

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Jan 5, 2013 - 12:25AM

    Please leave him out and I mean forever.

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  • waqar
    Jan 5, 2013 - 3:20PM

    People who don’t understand cricket want Afridi,a complete waste of space.please get rid of akmals and bring some new players like Harris and Usman Salahuddin.I still believe batting needs to be strengthening also want younis out of team.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Jan 5, 2013 - 3:48PM

    Misbah said, we want Afridi back in team,

    Misbah, I think you should also go with Afridi,there is also no place for you in team

    It will be better to give chance for new talanted players

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  • antanu g
    Jan 6, 2013 - 1:14AM

    @sensible:
    your bias is crystal clear…or you have not read his records.come on dude.as an Indian I feel afridi is better than seswag ……

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  • Blithe
    Jan 6, 2013 - 3:10AM

    @Pakistan:
    At what average in batting?
    Do you know any other batsman who has made so many runs at such a bad average????

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  • yaz
    Jan 6, 2013 - 9:07PM

    We dont want Afridi OR Misbah in th team.

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  • umarZ
    Jan 7, 2013 - 4:23PM

    O ‘ Chall oye!

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