Ignore average players to build strong Test side: Afridi

Updated: Jul 16, 2010, 09:14 AM IST

Karachi: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi feels they need to ignore `average` cricketers to build a formidable Test side.

The all-rounder said while Pakistan is on track in one-day and Twenty20 formats, it will take a mammoth effort from them to form a good Test team.

`Our biggest challenge is to prepare a Test team that is capable of doing well in what I believe is by far the most difficult of all three formats,` Afridi was quoted as saying in The News Wednesday.

`We haven`t done well in Test cricket in recent years because mostly we have tried to rely on average players.
`Sometimes we have even persisted with below-average cricketers. You can`t do that. You have to somehow find classy players and then groom them into world class cricketers because you can`t make a good Test team with average cricketers,` said Afridi, who has returned from a Test exile to lead Pakistan in a two-match series against Australia that got underway at Lord`s Tuesday.

Afridi, 30, however, insisted that Pakistan`s future in the Tests depends on youngsters like Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer.

`If we want to make a reliable Test team then we will have to pump in young blood. Players like Umar Amin are very talented and can become match-winning players,` he said.

`Umar and Aamer have become integral part of our team within a short span of time which shows that we need youngsters.`

The seasoned all-rounder said under him Pakistan will continue to try out promising rookies until they manage to form a balanced Test combination.