Karachi: Pakistan One-day and T20 captain Shahid Afridi has come under fire from some former players after losing the T20 series in New Zealand but he insists that his team will be the surprise package of the 2011 World Cup.
Since the T20 World Cup triumph in England in 2009, Pakistan have struggled in the limited overs formats of the game.
"No matter what people say and believe. I am confident that Pakistan will do really well in the World Cup. I won`t make any predictions but would make it clear that Pakistan will take their best shot for the World Cup title," Afridi said after returning home from New Zealand.
Afridi said certainly it was not the ideal situation for Pakistan cricket at the moment but it had a history of giving its best under pressure.
He also felt that Pakistan’s one-day squad is shaping up well in the run up to the World Cup.
"I would agree that a lot of work has to be done before we start doing well in tests consistently. Even our T20 team needs a world of improvement. But when it comes to one-day cricket we are close to achieving an ideal combination," he said.
"Most of our players in the T20 team are better suited to the one-day format," he said.
He also warned that Pakistan would have a potent bowling attack in the tournament as it had a variety of spinners who can do well on the pitches in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.
"Our bowling attack is getting better especially when it comes to spinners," Afridi said.
However, some former Test players do not share his enthusiasm and confidence.
Former Test captain and analyst Aamir Sohail believes that Afridi is a not a good leader.
"He was given enough time to prove his ability as captain. What I see is that he`s not a leader, as the captain must have sense of the game and know how to improvise. Every time Pakistan lose, he comes up with a different story," Sohail reasoned.
Sohail also felt that the PCB had ample time to make changes ahead of the World Cup.
"I see Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq as good options to replace Afridi," Sohail said.
Pakistan`s former captain Moin Khan also advised Afridi to refrain from criticizing his players in public.
"A captain should refrain from criticising his own players in public because it can affect the team," said Moin.
Meanwhile Afridi has been summoned by the Chairman of the Pakistan board on Monday to Lahore for a meeting.
Indications are that it is because the board and selectors want his final feedback on the composition of the One-day squad for the series in New Zealand and also the preliminary squad for the World Cup.