Johannesburg: Pakistan has dropped all-rounder Shahid Afridi from their one-day squad for the three-match series against archrivals India that starts this month.
The 32-year-old captained Pakistan in their 2011 World Cup campaign, which ended in a semi-final defeat to India, but has been in poor form of late, managing just 76 runs and five wickets in his last 10 one-day matches.
Afridi will miss the 50-over series, which is the neighbours’ first in five years, but selectors kept faith with him for the shortest form of the game, naming him in the 15-man Twenty20 squad led by Mohammad Hafeez.
Shoaib Malik likewise misses out on the one-day squad but makes the T20 list, while experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was axed altogether as chief selector Iqbal Qasim said it was time to blood some younger players in one of sport`s fiercest rivalries.
“We have selected a balanced team with the consensus of the selection committee, both the captains and the coach with a hope that these teams will give good results on the India tour,” Sports24 quoted Qasim, as saying to reporters.
Afridi has taken 348 wickets and scored more than 7 000 runs in his 349 one-day internationals but there has been speculation over his future after a poor run and a weak showing at the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September-October.
“We have selected Afridi in the Twenty20 squad only and have given Zulfiqar Babar a chance in both the teams as he has been performing well in domestic cricket,” said Qasim of the uncapped 34-year-old left-arm spinner.