Shahid Afridi is not the ideal candidate to lead Pakistan in Test matches but his temperament and aggression undoubtedly made him the best available option before PCB, feels former captain Wasim Akram.
Akram said in the present circumstances Afridi is the right man to lead Pakistan in all the three formats of the game.
“I feel Afridi is the right choice for Pakistan. Although he is fit to lead in one-dayers and T20s, I have my doubts in Tests! But right now, PCB has no choice. They are short on options,” he said.
“Afridi is a fine choice as the team is struggling. They need someone with the right temperament. International teams are not travelling to Pakistan because of security reasons. The team has also not played enough cricket. The loss in the T20 (World Cup) semis would still be hurting. So the team should move on under a new leadership,” he said.
“In my honest opinion, Afridi cannot make a Test side on his batting skills alone, and in bowling too. I am not sure he will do wonders in English conditions where there will hardly be any turn but I think he will excel as a leader. He will inspire the team with his aggression and passion,” the former left-arm pacer added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday named Afridi skipper for the forthcoming Asia Cup and the subsequent tour of England, thereby opting for a single captain in all the three forms of the game.
The appointment meant Afridi will return to the Pakistan Test side after a hiatus of four years and Akram gave some word of advice to the 30-year-old dashing all-rounder.
“Afridi should know one thing. England tour will not be easy. To beat England on their home soil will be extremely difficult. However, if Pakistan adopt proper planning and execute accordingly, anything can happen.
“Most importantly, experience in batting is crucial, especially in middle order. That is where Afridi has to put his foot down. Have his say in selection committee. He is the captain so he knows who the best eleven are,” Akram said.
Akram also lauded banned former captains Younus Khan and Shoaib Malik’s inclusion in the 35-man list of probables for the Asia Cup and England tour.
“I think if the Board is OK with having them (Younus and Malik) in the team and the captain too has no issue, one must go ahead with it. The captain should specially work to have them in the side since their experience and talent can only help Pakistan win matches. It will reflect well on captain Afridi,” he said.
“I also think Afridi is tough enough to handle these seniors. He can also count on them to take the team to glory in tough English conditions,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.