Despite the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of England, Shahid Afridi has opined that the management should keep the current players motivated and hungry for success. Ahead of the World T20, he also insisted that if the national team play to their strength, they have a good chance of winning.
Against a second-string English XI, the Pakistan team led by Babar Azam had a hard time, losing the series 3-0. Barring the third game, there was never a point in the series where Pakistan looked like they were dominating the proceedings, with a weak display - both with the bat and the ball.
While the criticisms have naturally surrounded their dismal performance, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi opined that the management needs to keep the current players motivated and hungry for success. He also insisted that the fans should also echo the sentiments and should back the team.
“At present, the players representing the Pakistan national team are the best we have in terms of talent and ability. These players have performed consistently in recent times, in fact, some of them have been performing for a considerable time period. These are our best players, they are the ones whose talent we have to utilise,” Afridi said, reported India Today.
“We need to keep them motivated and hungry for success. We need to support the players in tough times, as a cricket fan and former player,” he added.
A pattern of play throughout the series was found, with Babar Azam’s men not being able to find a middle ground between attack and defence. Afridi insisted that the current team should identify the middle way, a balanced approach that would back their abilities.
“Our players are good at either attacking or blocking. Maybe, we need to find a middle way, especially for the ODI format. All our players need to back their abilities and play on their actual strength.”
With the World T20 making a late shift to the Middle East, Pakistan have been earmarked as a favourite, owing to their familiarity with the conditions. Afridi banked on this and insisted that the spinners and batters should play a prominent role in the Middle East. Alongside that, the former all-rounder also reckoned that there is a strong chance of Pakistan winning the tournament if they played to their strength.
“In the UAE, we have a very good record and have done very well against some top-ranked teams and that augurs well for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Spinners and batters will have a prominent role to play in the UAE conditions. If the ball starts to reverse, then we have the potential of being the very best, if we play to our strength, we have a good chance of winning the tournament.”