Feel like a bowling all-rounder now: Afridi

Last Updated: Mar 07, 2011, 22:19 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who is the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing World Cup with 14 wickets, on Monday said his success as a bowler has a lot to do with his changed mindset.

"There is no magic involved in my bowling now it is just that I have now started seeing myself as a bowling all-rounder rather than a batting all-rounder. I am now paying a lot of attention to my bowling since last year and I have worked hard on it and that is why it is getting me results now," Afridi said.

Afridi said the favourable conditions in Sri Lanka, where Pakistan are playing their home matches, have also contributed to his success.

"The pitches are slow but give grip to the wrist spinners and the odd ball tends to jump up from a good length and that is what makes batsmen unsure about what to do next."

Afridi said he had always carried a lot of pressure on himself as a batsman and at times ignored his bowling capabilities.

"But now I am giving a lot of time to my bowling and I am practicing a lot in the nets even when I was not playing I kept on bowling in the nets to gain accuracy and confidence."

Afridi, who scored two centuries in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka last year, admitted he was not happy with his own batting form.

"But I try to now look at a role where I come in final few overs and get quick runs for the team that is what I am best at doing."

Afridi said the biggest honour for him was to lead the team in the World Cup.

"It is a dream come true for me and now one dream remains and that is to win the tournament for my people.The Pakistani nation has been through lot of rough times recently and everyday you just hear distressing news from our country that is why I desperately want to win this World Cup and give some joy to our people who deserve to celebrate something and be happy and proud with our performances."

Afridi said there is unity in the team and that will help them do well in the mega event.

"In the past the captain was always under fire if he lost he was held responsible and if he won he took the credit but this time I have told the players that we are playing as a unit and if we perform badly we all take responsibility for it and if we do well we all take credit for it. “

"Captaincy has never been an easy job in Pakistan cricket but it is something that drives me and I feel good when I see our players gelling together and performing as a unit. I am confident this will get us through this tournament," he said.

PTI