LAHORE - Pakistan star all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi Thursday said that he had no plan to make comeback in the Test squad and wanted to have more focus on his one-day and Twenty20 games.
Talking to the reporters during the training camp of the players for ODI series against South Africa here at National Cricket Academy (NCA), Afridi said: “No, I don’t have any plan or desire to make a Test comeback as I have been fully focusing on my performance in both ODI and Twenety20 formats.” The all-rounder said he was fully aware about his strength and said both his batting and bowling were very significant for the team and he would do his best to perform in both the departments.
“Obviously, I have to play my natural game. I know my strengths and I wish to keep giving performance for my team. Smaller innings played according to the match situation sometimes help the team more than big innings. As far as my performance is concerned, I think it has always played a vital role for the Pakistan team,” he added. To a query regarding condition or pitches situation, he replied: “We will not have any excuses this time about conditions or pitches for not performing because those are much similar to ours and pitches are also very much suitable to us so we should not blame these trivial things for loss but should strive hard to help our team register victories.”
Talking about first Test against South Africa, Afridi said: “It was a big achievement to win the first Test. We were expecting similar result from the second one, however, it is always important to avail opportunities in any format of the game.”
To another query, he said: “I do not think outcome of this Test series will have much influence on the ODI series. We have to play one-day matches with a completely different mindset. I think we should win this ODI series as the conditions are more favourable to us.” When asked about performance of African bowlers especially Steyn and Imran Tahir, he replied: “Yes, the South African bowlers bowled well against Pakistan team. Steyn has bowled well. As far as I saw Tahir, he just got one wicket and the rest were gifted to him.”
Praising the captaincy of Misbah, the star all-rounder said: “Misbah’s efforts are already in front of all to see. His fitness level is also better than any youngster in the team. His performances are an example for youngsters and they must learn something from him.”
Replying to a question about new captain, Afridi said: “If we get a new captain, he should not be hired only for six months or a couple of tours rather he should be given more than a year to settle in and to start producing results.
Criticising the critics, Afridi said: “Sitting on TV and criticising is easy, but critics need to understand ground realities before that. Former players, who talk against the team when it is down, should also support the team in difficult times.”