ICC World Cup 2019: Shahid Afridi Predicts the Fortune of Pakistan in the Showpiece Event
Former Pakistan skipper and arguably one of the most celebrated cricketers of the country, Shahid Afridi is of the opinion that the inclusion of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir will add the much-needed balance to the Men in Green. The inclusion of the duo will provide the much-needed balance in the bowling department.
Both the players were not part of the preliminary World Cup squad. However after the Pakistan bowlers were smashed hammers and tongs and against England, the Pakistan selectors decided to bring back the like of Riaz and Mohammad Amir. Shahid Afridi said that after few of the experiments didn’t work during the series against England it was quite essential to bring back the experienced duo.
“We did quite a few experiments with the side. We rested the seniors in the series against Australia, giving chance to youngsters,” Afridi said in a video posted by the Pakistan Cricket Board on their twitter account. “Our bowling struggled before the World Cup I think because they lacked experience there. Now Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir are back and it’s a well-balanced team. We should not have any excuse now.”
Pakistan has a pretty balanced side this time around and boasts of some exceptional talent in the batting department. The opening duo of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq has done a good job for Pakistan and will look to carry on the good work in the showpiece event. Shahid Afridi said that despite batting being an area of concern for them, their batters are in good form going into the 12th edition of the ICC World Cup.
“I think this team has the right combination. The best thing is (that) batting used to be a constant worry for us but our batsmen are now in good form,” he further added.
Pakistan has always been one of the most unpredictable side in the world and overs the years it has been the trend even in World Cups. A few days ago former Pakistan wicket-keeper Rashid Latif had said that Pakistan is a team who can beat strong contenders like England and Pakistan and might lose to Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Shahid Afridi stated that it is very important for Pakistan to start well and gain momentum as the tournament progresses.
“It’s very important to win the first couple of matches to build a momentum … Our youngsters are capable of beating any team in the world.I see Pakistan as one of the teams in the semi-finals and, God willing, I’m confident they’ll play the final too. The pressure is inevitable in international cricket. It tests a player and his mental strength. But the World Cup is also a great opportunity to become a hero with the whole world looking at you,” Shahid Afridi concluded.
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