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‘Shaheen Afridi wasn’t fit; he wasn’t really there’ Waqar, Akram, and Misbah share their thoughts


Shaheen Afridi went wicketless against India, giving away 34 runs, raising concerns about his fitness. Former captain Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq were worried about his fitness in the remaining matches in the T20 world cup.

“We know what Shaheen Afridi delivers but he wasn’t really there. I was there in New Zealand [Pakistan played a series in New Zealand just before the world cup] also and spoke to the medical panel and Babar Azam and I asked that question: You are taking him to the world cup and why isn’t he here? He should have played in New Zealand,” Waqar said on A Sports. “He has just played 6 overs in the game-times in warm-ups. He didn’t play before that. You can fit in nets but in a crunch game, you need match practice. It looked like he wasn’t there yet.”

The co-panellist Shoaib Malik talked about the seriousness of knee injury and how it affected Shaheen’s pace.

“When he is fit, he bowls 145 kmph. Dealing with a 145kmph inswinger is difficult for the batsmen. But today’s speeds were like 133, 134 kmph. It’s either as Wasim Akram said it’s due to lack of match practice or he isn’t fully fit,” Shoaib Malik said. “He wasn’t running the way he used to run before the injury. There was a slight limp. If the ball wasn’t landing where he wanted, it can be considered lack of match practice but for the speed to fall down, I think its fitness issue. You are then holding yourself back a bit. Knee injury is of course a bad injury.”

Misbah-ul-Haq took the discussion forward to say how a bowler with knee injury is affected during match time.

“I have captained bowlers who have come back from a knee injury, like Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul. The second spell becomes always a problem. You finish a spell, then stand field in the outfield. When you bowl first spell, you are fresher and come after warming up. But in second spell, it’s in the back of your mind. You don’t push yourself too much or stiffness sets in. His pace in the third and fourth over was less. Shaheen usually bowls 143-145 kmph even at the death. Shaheen is an asset for us, the knee injury is a serious issue.”

“I haven’t had a knee injury but as Misbah says a knee injury leaves a mental doubt for a while in the back of mind,” Wasim Akram added.





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