Islamabad: Captain Misbahul Haq has said Pakistan is missing the experience of all rounder Shahid Afridi, who has earned the reputation of breaking partnerships in the middle overs of the game, in the ongoing one-day international series against archrivals India.
Afridi scored just 314 runs and took 24 wickets in 29 matches last year before being dropped from the ODI squad, but Misbah has admitted the former captain’s absence was being felt in the middle, especially as Misbah looked around for options during the MS Dhoni onslaught in Chennai.
Afridi hit just two half-centuries in the year and took a solitary five-wicket haul against Afghanistan in February and was subsequently dumped from the ODI squad.
Misbah, though, hoped for his quick return, confirming that the all rounder still has a lot left in the tank, the Express Tribune reports.
Misbah said every player goes through a period where, despite his class and talent, he is unable to perform at his usual level or perform according to expectations, and added that Afridi is going through the same phase.
Misbah added that the team wants Afridi to be back in the team but it has to be at the right time and when he has regained his confidence as well as form.
Afridi is Pakistan’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs (346 wickets in 344 matches) and, despite making his debut as a leg-spinner who could bat, is sixth in the list of all-time most run-scorers for the country with 7,038 runs.
Misbah said Pakistan is desperately missing Afridi’s ability to break partnership in the middle overs.
Misbah added that Afridi needs to work hard to make a comeback in the team and till then Pakistan would need to rely on other bowlers.