Stating that he is not concerned about the prolong bad patch of national T20 captain Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s head cricket coach Waqar Younis has said that he is banking on the senior all-rounder to strike form before next year’s ICC World Twenty20 in India.
Afridi, 35, who has already retired from Test and One-day cricket, has scored just 110 runs in his last 10 T20 matches and taken just six wickets.
“I am not overly concerned with Afridi’s form. He is our most experienced player and a proven match winner. I am banking on him to strike form soon. It is just a matter of having one good match,” Waqar said on Geo Super channel after Pakistan completed a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in Harare on Tuesday.
“We know the World T20 is coming close and it is important for the captain to start contributing to the team. But I think the pitches have not suited Afridi in Zimbabwe and I am sure he will strike form soon,” the former Test captain said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named Afridi as the national T20 captain till the ICC World Twenty20 early next year after which the flamboyant all-rounder has indicated that he plans to bid adieu to international cricket.
“I am sure Afridi himself realizes the importance of striking form with bat and ball. I am sure he wants to end with a bang. So I am not worried he will regain his best soon. He is a player for the big occasion,” Waqar said.
Waqar noted that Afridi had led the side well in recent T20 matches.
Pakistan has won its last six T20 matches taking the team to the number two spot in the ICC T20 rankings.
Waqar also said that he was satisfied with the series win over Zimbabwe but said obviously would have liked the batsmen to get more runs in the low scoring series.
“The good thing is that we have defended low totals and the bowlers have done their jobs. The batsmen we have are capable of big scores. But in this format of the game I don’t think you need to get big scores, small contributions give you a fighting total and our bowling so far has been very good while the fielding has also improved a lot,” he said.