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afridi for captain...?

by straight point

after superbly timed retirement of younis khan...afridi is already being projected as next captain...

no doubt that he played blinder of innings to almost single handedly first carry pakistan to finals and then winning them t20 world championship...

but don't you think its better to take a call after pakistan series of srilanka just round the corner...coz we will find out by then whether afridi is really maturing or it was one of those days when all stars aligned perfectly for him in the sky...

23 comments:

K said...

I agree with you SP. And boy are Sri Lanka going to come hard at them...

straight point said...

cheers K!

srilanka at their own den are double dangerous...and it will be nice to see which paksitan will turn up for them...

the unpredictability of pak cricket seems synonym with afridi's form of late...

Prafs said...

Afridi, captain?
i think pcb should rather let the maverick be himself.
Dont see much logic on putting too much responsibility on Afridi

straight point said...

exactly prafs...

as if hitting bowlers out a park...doing bowling...etc is not sufficient burden on his pathan mind...who with right senses wants to burden him with selecting teams...braving demanding media and other unwanted clutter that comes with being captain...

leave him alone yaar... :)

Q said...

Alright so all of u need to realize one thing,

Afridi has been captaining Karachi, Sindh, and Habib Bank in Pakistan's domestic circuit for 7-8 years now.. and he has been doing an awesome job!

When Malik was announced captain in 2007, many felt it should have been Afridi.

When YK replaced Malik, even then many felt it should have been Afridi.

Afridi, to date remains the best captain Pakistan has not had.

If u followed Well Pitched, then for 2 years now you would have heard me call Afridi to become captain.

Here the choice is only for the T20 game since YK remains the captain of the ODI and Test teams...

There is no better choice than Afridi as captain of the T20 team..

Since all teams play only 10-12 T20s in a year, it will give the PCB amply proof to realize that Afridi is their future captain for ODIs and Tests too..

Something all of us already know...

Remember, he's a bowler first.. and his field presence beats all.

straight point said...

Q...with due respect to your love for afridi...

i don't find him threatening bowler at all in longer version of game...and his batting has been fickle at best...

his place was at danger has he not fired in t20 wc...remember the calls made after he threw his wickets in warm-up match against india...?

let him show that he can be in team coz of his bowling alone (batting being plus)...also let him show maturity for longer period first...

i think misbah will be more sensible choice...coz of what little i have seen him (as captain) he has impressed me...

raj said...

Q, captaining habib bank team is different from captaining Pakistan. We very well saw the reactions, including your own, after the England defeat. Dealing with it...do you think Afridi has the temparament?

Q said...

SP,

Afridi has proven over the last 3 years that he can be in the team on his bowling alone. And he hasn't played in the top order for the last 3-4 years.. he has batted at number 7-8 in ODIs and T20Is for the last 3 years.. so he was in the team because of his bowling.

Raj,

I never crticized Afridi's batting. You will not find one word from me against Afridi the batsman. I have repeatedly on Well Pitched called for people to recognize him as a bowler first, cos that is what he was when he came into the team and that is what he is now.

I criticized Pakistan after the loss to England, not Afridi.

Coming to test matches. Afridi has a better record in tests, bowling and batting both, then he does in ODIs and T20Is.

Why he doesn't play test matches is beyond me.

There is no doubt that he will be effective and definitely a better choice than Kaneria.

I have always regarded Afridi as a bowler, never a batsman.

It doesn't make a difference to me whether his batting efforts in semi and final were a flash in the pan or whether he has matured for the longer term.. he will always be a bowler for me.. and he definitely has the temperament to lead...

With all due to respect to u guys, just like I don't know what Badrinath and Pujara have done to have so many people call for their inclusion into the Indian team, you guys don't know what Afridi has done on the domestic scene to deserve a call to lead Pakistan.

straight point said...

fair points Q...

lets see his bowling...

in tests for last test 7 matches

in past 12 months ODIs

please proceed defending him as bowler...

Q said...

SP,

He played the last of those 7 tests in July 2006, when he was still being included in the team as a batsman...

Here's his batting record for those same 7 tests..

http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/42639.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=start;spanmin1=24+Jun+2005;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

As for the ODIs.. it would be better if u look at his record since after WC 2007 cos thats when he moved into the lower order permanently and started to improve his bowling...

The last 15 ODIs are a bit skewed cos of the 2 bad matches against India, and the bad series against SL.

Since May 2007, here's his bowling record:

http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/42639.html?class=2;spanmin1=01+May+2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=bowling;view=match

The improvement is apparent.

He has not played a test match since improving his bowling.. I'm sure he will be more effective than Kaneria.

Plus even his 17 wickets in Pakistan's last 15 ODIs, as u pointed out, is the 2nd highest for a Pak bowler...

Q said...

I agree abt the claim that Misbah is a good captain. No doubt. He has impressed every time he has captained.

But here we need to also think of the future...

Misbah at max has 2 years left in his career.

Younis, another 4-5 at the most.. He may even quit ODIs after 2011...

This is Pakistan's chance to use someone like Afridi as the T20 captain and groom him for the top job after Younis..

There is noone else..

Hani said...

I would like to back Q up on this matter, Afridi has been doing exceptionally well while captaining these teams, especially Karachi. The rest of you are presenting arguments without actually having watched Afridi captain a side, where as, Q and I have seen how good he his at leading the team. The argument that we should ignore is performance as a captain on the domestic stage is completely absurd, because it is the domestic performance of a captain that shows us if he is ready for the big time or not. Almost every international captain gains recognition by catching people's eye by his performances as the captain of his domestic team.

IF we really are going to select a captain based on domestic results, and only the domestic results, then it has to be Shoaib Malik. His Sialkot team has been dominating the domestic circuit for the past few years. But, I think it is safe to say that we call all rule that out.

If you ask for my personal opinion though, I would not make Afridi the captain and would let him express himself without putting undue pressure on him. But then again, results show otherwise. His teams have always done well in our competitions.
I don't, however, agree with Q's claim that Afridi is better than Kaneria. Kaneria is one of the best, if the not the best, leg spinner in the world. The team management needs to use him properly to maximize his effectiveness. I do not believe that Afridi can replace him purely as a bowler.

Q said...

Hani,

Kaneria bowls way too many overs and gives away too many runs for his wickets, which for me is not ideal for test cricket... If afridi bowled as much as Kaneria, he would have a lot more wickets to show than Kaneria does...

Afridi is naturally aggressive and attacking.. Kaneria has become very defensive over the years.. his figures are nothing to talk abt and if u take the performances against Bangladesh out, they're even worse..

Malik is not an option at the moment.. and true he has done well captaining Sialkot and Punjab, however most of the T20 trophies that Sialkot won over the last 5 years were under Imran Nazir. Only this year and last year Malik captained them. Before that 3 trophies came with Imran Nazir was captain.

Q said...

And the best part abt this all is that Afridi really wants to be captain.. he is not a reluctant leader like Malik or like Younis was initially.. Afridi is a born leader.. he does it for his tribe, he does it for various teams on the domestic front, and he wants to do it for Pakistan...

Such men always prove to be good leaders.

Afridi's field presence over the last 3 years is only proof of that..

He is the heart of the side.. He can take them to great heights, I know it! Many others know it too :-)

Q said...

U guys tell me,

How many men will u find in India and Pakistan who willingly put their hands up for captaincy?

They all dream of it, but they r all reluctant.

Hani said...

Q,

Kaneria's captains make him bowl that many overs, so we shouldn't blame him for that. Before Umar Gul's rise as an elite fast bowler, Pakistan's fast bowling resources were very volatiles. Asif, Shoaib and Gul were almost always never around due to a variety of reasons. The replacements (Same etc) would be getting hit all over the park, so the captains wanted Kaneria to both, stop runs and take wickets, putting on him an impossible amount of work load. I respect your opinions and have found myself agreeing to pretty much everything you have said, but I would not even put Afridi and Kaneria on the same level as bowlers. Kaneria is an elite, i repeat...an elite, bowler. He is truly world class. In fact, I wouldn't even mind him being included in the one day set up. That is how much I rate the guy.

Q said...

Hani,

Kaneria will have to do a lot to prove to me that he is one of the elites.

I agree with u that he was used very defensively by Inzi.. and maybe Malik too.. but even when he has played in the same tests as Shoaib and Asif or Asif and Gul he has picked up only expensive wickets.

You've given me an idea for a post.. I will dig up more on him :-)

Hani said...

Being a Pakistani, I know how hard Afridi lobbied for the captaincy and how disappointed he was when Malik was selected instead. He even went as far as airing his disappointments on tv (Nadia Khan Show, etc).

What is more important is how highly everybody on the domestic circuit rated Afridi's captaincy, be it, the media, the players or the retired veterans. Again, for me personally, I would not make him the captain, probably because I have the same biases against him as most other members of this forum. If we look at the squad though, I don't see many other alternatives. I can't comment on Misbah because I have never seen him lead a team.

Q,

About Sialkot, you really think Imran Nazir has the brains to lead a group of individuals?
Malik was removed from the captaincy after he lost that match on purpose (If I was in his position, I would've done the same). I truly believe that the Sialkot players saw how Malik was punished for fighting for them, and he was the always the true leader of that team. The Imran Nazir captaincy was just an illusion.

P.S In my last post, Same = Sami

Q said...

Hani,

Agree with u abt Malik and Nazir regarding Sialkot.. Though Nazir did lead Sialkot to the title this year, when Malik didn't play the game.

I agree abt Malik as well, if i was in his place I would have lost that match as well.

I figured it was Sami.. another fast bowler gone to waste.

straight point said...

Q & Hani...

first of all comparing afridi's case with badri's and pujara's is not fair for simple reasons that we have not seen enough of them at international level than what we have seen of afridi...which is quite a good sample to make opinion of...

next i have never found his bowling threatening in longer version of game (odi's and tests)...at best he is bowler who can hold on...which is confirmed by his strike rate...

now for his captaincy part he has definitely started to put some mind into the fact that he largely wasted his talent and all i want to make sure that we need to make it sure that if this is his permanent stance or passing emotions...

if he can assure in next couple of series that he is really serious about how he wants to approach his game with his fresh stance...then go ahead and make him captain...

but taking plunge on instincts than believes will be akin to another disaster in making which pak can ill afford now...specially when they have some kind of momentum...enthusiasm after being crowned world champions...

and till then give job to a player like misbah with afridi being his deputy as understudy...as you have himself acknowledged that misbah has atleast two years...which if not a very long period...is not short either...

Q said...

In my books Afridi has cemented his place in ODIs with his bowling alone over the last 3 years...

Pakistan's most recent series against Australia goes to prove how good he has become with the ball...

I believe he is the best bet to captain Pak.

The time is now.

straight point said...

Q...

its easier to start him with t20 than ODIs coz that is his game made for him...

besides younis has still not retired from ODIs...and making him play as normal player under afridi is unnecessary as well as dangerous...coz it can again lead to clash of egos...

don't you think so...?

Q said...

No one's talking abt Afridi becoming captain for ODIs.. I didn't say that either...

I'm talking abt Afridi becoming captain for T20s... that way he will be groomed for the top job in a few years time when Younis walks away...