Posts Tagged ‘Shahid Afridi’

Ok, I didn’t really watch the whole of the CWC 2007 final.

Two reasons…

One was that I was feeling really sleepy and dosed off in between..

Secondly, LTTE decided to play some tricks with us and did some aerial bombing..

However, yesterday’s final was at a better hour so I was awake for the whole final, but the team selection just made my heart sink once again.

I knew that if at least the three of Dilshan, Sanath, Mahela and Sanga fell early, we would be in a deep hole as the ‘rest’ of the batting order included 2 guys who are truly good-for-nothing.

Mubarak and Silva are so stupid and lame that they can’t contribute with either bat or ball.

I would’ve preferred Thushara and Maharoof (if not deSaram) in place of these two as, even though these guys aren’t the best of batters, they can at least contribute well with the ball.

As things often happen in team selection in SL, Sanga decided to keep his good ‘machangs’ (friends) in the team and threw our chances of winning a world event into the toilet.

Sanga played a very heroic innings but, truth be told, other than the big-hearted Angelo Mathews, who has won the heart of a nation with absolutely stunning fielding (remember that saved six?), bowling (3 wickets in the first over in the semi) and batting (yesterday), none of the other assigned batters really did much of note.

Isuru, who some people say is a decent batsman, was picked mainly as a bowler and so I shall not condemn him.

However, you had to admit, the turn and the swing that the women got was mainly because their spinners really flighted the ball (which would be smacked out of the ground had it been a men’s game) and bowled it at medium pace, at the most.

The pitch was a good batting track, as was seen by the way the Pakistanis played, but all credit has to be given to Afridi, Akmal and Malik for keeping a really cool head throughout the chase.

Frankly, like Ryan said on islandcricket.lk, our selectors are to blame for not giving boys like Udawatte or Malinda a prolonged chance. I just get the feeling that, had these 2 been selected instead of the idiots Silva and Mubarak, we would’ve put up a better batting performance throughout the tournament.

However, we shouldn’t feel alone as the WI selectors are trying to beat the ‘muppets headed by a joker’ (priceless from Marvan) by dropping Lendl Simmons for the 4-ODI tourney against India. Simmons was clearly the best batsman other than Gayle in the WC, and to drop him really speaks volume about how much they are ‘ahead’ in the race!

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I came home late on Sunday, plonked into a chair and started watching the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Malik had just got dimissed by Mendis, and Afridi struts in. He gets ready to face his first ball in the next over, which is gonna be bowled by Jayasuriya. Something tells me that he’s gonna try to slog this rather than keeping it down, and he proves me right! Tries to hit it over mid – on, but finds the safe hands of Chamara Silva.

Frankly, I’m quite baffled as to why Afridi plays shots like that. It’s understandable if someone like Muralitharan played a shot like that because, first of all, no sensible person’s gonna expect him to hit a 50, and, second of all, he doesn’t take batting seriously in the nets.

But the same can’t be said of Afridi. We all know what a sweet timer of the ball he is, and, frankly, there was a time when I would stop any work I was doing and jump over to the TV to watch him smashing the ball out of the park! But sadly, none of that has been happening in the recent past.

Geoffrey Boycott, former England test player, recently said on Cricinfo that “Shahid Afridi has the best hand-eye co-ordination that I have ever seen, but, sadly, he doesn’t have a cricketing brain”. During that match, Arun Lal said “For some reason, you just expect him to play a shot like that, and the sparkle in Jayasuriya’s and Jayawardene’s eyes just tells you that they expected him to play that shot”!

Waqar Younis added some fire to the debate, saying that “players like Afridi are guaranteed of a place in the team, and this is what makes players like them complacent”.

Geoff Lawson spoke of dropping him for today’s match against India, but he managed to sneak a place into the team. It is a known fact that the Pakistan selectors select the final XI for a home match, and, a selector who didn’t want to be named, said that “we just expect him to do something today”.

Patience is wearing thin, and there aren’t a lot of happy faces around regarding Afridi, and he may get the axe if he doesn’t perform today.

However, a better way to deal with Afridi is to pick him in the side as a ‘leggie who can bat a bit’. His bowling seems to have improved a lot since the T20 WC last year, and, moreover, this would give the selectors and the captain the chance of choosing another batsman and solving the problem of a good spinner for the side. It allows him to concentrate on his bowling, and we don’t have to fret about his batting. If he doesn’t score, no probs, but, if he does…..