Yes… I know … the moment you read the title you probably thought I am stark raving mad. That the state of cricket in our country is already in shambles and I am promoting an idea for a sure shot way towards becomming cricketing minnows. I am sure most of you experienced feelings along the same lines if not exactly these. And you probably have every right to be. I mean … I am after all suggesting that Afridi should be made captain of the team. ( I hope all of you got this from the title… because if you didn’t !… then .. ahem ahem) ….
Anyway, I must not digress. I am writing something on cricket and that too Pakistan Cricket after a long time. But please don’t think it was triggered by our ‘Series Whitewash win over the West Indies’. Of course not. Please. I have been suffering and constantly been dissappointed as a completely loyal Paki Cricket fan for a very long time now to suddenly jump on the band wagon of celebrations.
Shoaib Malik didn’t pull any miracles. Neither did the PCB. Sure there were positives from the series, but let us not forget that the ‘ONCE’ great WI do nto currently measure up anywhere near to the days of the the West Indies of old. Not even the West Indies of the 90’s. Hence … I really don’t think we should start singing praises for the team just yet. It’s been almost a decade now since we had a decent opening pair. Ever since the Opening pair of Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwer changed…. Pakistan’s top order has been somewhat inconsistent …. and also constantly changed. Our balling attack seems to be constantly dropping … with a glimmer of hope from time to time… only to be bathed and dripped with dampness of Scandals and Corruption.
Shoaib Malik ..as much as I used to like him as a decent handy player… who could contribute with the ball and bat both….. has dissappointed me as a captain much more than that. He has no ‘presence’ as a captain. He’s not dynamic. He lacks the hunger , spirit and fire of a captain. And most of all … there is absolutely no aggression. The guy is always like he’s on a defensive. ( And please keep in mind the opponents he has played so far as a captain). He’s got no spine as a captain. Especially not against serious and tough teams. For crying out loud the guy didn’t ball against SL when he balled against Bangladesh. That’s the most ridiculous thing. it’s not like he’s a Full Time Batsmen and a Part Time Baller. He’s a proper baller. No Spine!
But I am not going to continue ranting about Shoaib Malik and making a case for why he shouldn’t be kept as captain. I am rather hoping that the PCB see that for themselves. And hopefully they will with the addition of Miandad as Director of Cricket and Abdul Qadir as National Selector.
I am hoping that PCB will look towards two possible choices and both for different reasons. Either Misbah. Or either Afridi. Now Misbah, because he seems like a smart guy. He’s got a good brain on his shoulders. A thinking brain. So he could probably do well as a strategist. Tactician. Best for Test Cricket no doubt. And well considering the fact that he is the vice captain.. seems more likely that he will be nominated as the captain by the PCB next year. (Correct if I am wrong about him being the VC).
The second choice… and I would actually prefer this choice is Afridi. He’s made himself a regular in the team despite his batting style/performance/attitude. And thats because he’s earned his spot. He’s been one of our more consistent and well performing ballers for the past 2 or so years. His energy is amazing on the field. And he’s constantly buzzing about keeping everyone alive, as much as he can given his current capacity. His batting is something that everyone has a problem with. Well I say that’s the way he’s built. No one really made any strong fucking effort when he came back in 1996 because of his legnedary Century. and now, almost after 12 years…. you have a problem with his Batting style. Ever heard of the expression ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!’ ? Well the same applies here and more so. So forget his batting. Besides… he is being utilzed right now as a very low order batsmen. So before questioning his batting … please… focus on the TOP ORDER and the MIDDLE ORDER.
I firmly believe that Afridi if made the Captain will be able to bring the fire, desire and hunger that this team needs. He will be able to make this team stand up and take other teams head on…. and he will attack. He will have the tenacity and the aggression. The aggression that I am dying to see in our side once again.And please don’t write him off as a dumb cricketer either. I can assure you he has a fantastic cricketing brain. As a baller and on the field. And he is seasoned. 12 years. He’s the most experienced player in the side right now. He has learnings from his past. He’s played against the Aussies, the Indians, Sri Lankans, the Proteas, Black Caps etc etc.
I sincerely believe that Afridi is the man for the job. He’s our only way forward and in my opinion very easily one of our more logical choices.