Why Did Shahid Afridi 'Lash Out' at Babar Azam? Here's the Reason
Shahid Afridi has slammed Babar Azam [Twitter]
The legendary leg-spin bowling all-rounder Shahid Afridi tears into Pakistan following their dismal exit from the ongoing Asia Cup tournament. The Men in Green started their Asia Cup campaign on a very promising note but two massive defeats against India and Sri Lanka pushed them out of a well-deserved spot in the finals.
Pakistan suffered a heart-breaking loss at the hands of Sri Lanka in a crucial Super 4 fixture on Thursday. During this match, Shadab’s contribution came under the scanner. The 24-year-old could only manage 3 runs and conceded 55 runs for just one wicket.
Shadab displayed a very ordinary performance on a surface that provided a substantial amount of assistance to the spinners. Furthermore, with their star pacers being left out due to injury concerns, Shadab had to step up his game in a must-win situation for Pakistan.
His failure to deliver the goods has been met with a lot of criticism. In a recent interview with Samaa TV, Shahid Afridi was severely critical of Babar Azam’s tactic of not using their backup players. He further emphasized how India has been exceptionally good with rotating their players effectively ahead of crucial encounters.
“This is an age-old problem. India are playing in Asia Cup, I've seen changes in almost every game in their team. They've rested seniors, played juniors, it shows that they are preparing for the World Cup. These decisions are very important, you select a 15-member squad because the players are bench are as good as those in XI. You shouldn't have a problem with resting the first-choice players.”
The former Pakistani legend also suggested that the team management should have considered resting their key players if they were struggling with form. He was of the opinion that Osama Mir would have been a viable replacement for Shadab Khan ahead of their do-or-die clash against Sri Lanka.
“If Shadab is rested, Osama Mir is there. He has performed well for Pakistan in the past. If someone isn't performing in quite some matches, you should rest him. I'm not saying that drop him from the 15-member squad, you can keep him in the team and still rest him.”
Pakistan will be seen in action in the 2023 ODI World Cup and are slated to play their first warm-up match against New Zealand on September 29.