Sunday, 5 December 2021

Shahid Afridi: No excuse for balanced Pakistan World Cup squad


KARACHI: Former captain Shahid Afridi said Pakistan have injected the right amount of experience into their World Cup squad with the late inclusions of pacemen Wahab Riaz and Mohammed Amir, and have no excuse for poor performance now.

In a video posted on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Twitter feed, he said bowling has always been Pakistan s strength and the return of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir has given the unit the much-needed balance.

“We did quite a few experiments with the side. We rested the seniors in the series against Australia, giving chance to youngsters,” Afridi said.

Afridi said: “Our bowling struggled before the World Cup I think because they lacked experience there. Now Wahab Riaz, (leg-spinner) Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir are back and it s a well-balanced team. We should not have any excuse now.”

Regarding Pakistan team’s batting, he said, “I think this team has the right combination. The best thing is (that) batting used to be a constant worry for us but our batsmen are now in good form.”

But Afridi warned that in a tournament like the World Cup, it will be very important to start well and gain momentum early into the event. “It s very important to win the first couple of matches to build a momentum … Our youngsters are capable of beating any team in the world.”

“I see Pakistan as one of the teams in the semi-finals and, God willing, I m confident they ll play the final too. Pressure is inevitable in international cricket. It tests a player and his mental strength. But World Cup is also a great opportunity to become a hero with the whole world looking at you.”

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