Snubbed Afridi may be reconsidered for India ODIs, says captain Misbah

Lahore, Dec 20: Snubbed Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi might be reconsidered for Pakistan’s one-day international series against India, according to limited-overs captain Misbahul Haq.

Afridi was picked only for the two Twenty20s against India this month but left out of the three one-dayers because he has scored only 182 runs in his last 16 ODIs with only one half century. But Afridi has scored two half centuries in 50-over practice matches in the last three days, including 90 off 64 balls on Wednesday.

“If his form remains like this and we needed him, we will definitely consider him. The form of senior players, who are experienced enough, is very important,” the Daily Times quoted Misbah, as saying.

Former captain Wasim Akram reportedly criticised Afridi’s exclusion from the ODI’s and said the all-rounder could have been picked in any team as a bowler.

“Indian players are afraid of Afridi and I fail to understand why he was dropped. If the selectors were thinking that Afridi was out of form, then they should have also dropped him from the Twenty20 team,” Wasim quoted as saying.

Pakistan will leave for India on Dec mber 22, and the series will begin with a Twenty20 at Bangalore on Dec mber 25.

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore believes off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will be their trump card against India, but Misbah said the rest of the bowlers also had to take responsibility.

Commenting on playing against India, Misbah said: “India has depth in their batting line-up and you can’t catch them with one bowler. As always, Saeed is our trump card, but as a team if we bowl well, then we do have a chance and I think it’s not a right thing to depend only on Saeed.”

“There is always pressure in India-Pakistan matches and it will stay like this whether we are playing against each other regularly or not. Everyone follows it and has lots of expectations, but the key for us will be to play normal cricket like we do play against other teams,” he added. (ANI)