Sports & Games

Shaheen Afridi Confident of Leading Pakistan in New Zealand T20Is

Newly appointed T20I captain Shaheen Afridi has expressed his confidence and excitement ahead of the five-match series against New Zealand, starting from January 12 in Auckland. The left-arm fast bowler, who took over the captaincy from Babar Azam, said he was honoured to lead the team and hoped to find the best combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024.

Speaking to the media in a press conference, Shaheen Afridi said he was fully fit and ready to lead from the front in the challenging New Zealand conditions. He said he had rested in the third Test against Australia to avoid any injury risk, as he had bowled a lot in the first two Tests. He also said he preferred playing Test cricket as it was more appealing to him.

Shaheen Afridi said the team management would try different players and positions in the 17 T20Is before the T20 World Cup, to determine the best playing XI. He said the team would have a clear idea of what to do in the series against England, which would be the last assignment before the mega event. He said he did not want any injuries before the World Cup, as it was a big opportunity for Pakistan to win the title.

The 23-year-old also praised Babar Azam, who stepped down as the T20I captain after the T20 World Cup last year. He said Babar was Pakistan’s best batter and his form was not declining. He said Babar had scored so many runs that he could not count them. He said he would support Babar as a captain in the other formats and as a player in the T20Is.

Shaheen Afridi also reflected on Pakistan’s performance in the recent T20 events, where they reached the semi-finals and final but could not win the trophy. He said Pakistan had played well in T20 cricket, but made minor mistakes in the crucial matches. He said he would try to avoid repeating those mistakes and learn from them. He said playing semi-finals and finals of the World Cup was not easy, and he was proud of the team’s efforts.

Shaheen Afridi also addressed the issue of his pace, which was shown to be low on the speed gun in the Tests against Australia. He said he was surprised by the readings, as he was bowling with full strength. He said he would work on improving his fitness and pace, as he wanted to bowl at 140kph consistently. He said he was the captain and he would lead by example.

Shaheen Afridi said he was looking forward to the New Zealand series, where he would face some new and some old players. He said he would try to give everyone a chance to prove themselves and perform well. He said he was confident of his team’s abilities and potential, and he hoped to win the series for Pakistan.

Back to top button