We need to learn how to utilise batting powerplay: Afridi

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011, 16:19 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi has acknowledged that his team faces the “problem” of losing wickets during batting powerplays, and said that he has “discussed this in detail” with the coach.

Pakistan’s poorly strategised use of the batting powerplay in the World Cup semifinal clash against India was considered a significant factor in the visiting team’s defeat.

When asked about the timing of the powerplay, Afridi agreed that his team had not used powerplays to good effect, stating: “We need to learn how to utilise the batting powerplay”.

“Quite a few teams have faced problems in regards to the batting powerplay. For us, when we take the batting powerplay, we start losing wickets, so then we thought it’s probably best to delay the powerplay and take it right at the end to avoid losing wickets earlier,” said Afridi.

“I do realise we have this problem. The Coach and I have discussed this in detail, and hopefully, we will see some better results on this in the upcoming series in the West Indies” he assured.

Other than his controversial powerplay decisions, Afridi was truly inspirational with the ball in his hand during the recently concluded World Cup, grabbing 21 wickets at an average of 12.85.

“For the past three or four years, I am a bowling all-rounder. I have focused a lot on my bowling in this period, and Alhamdolillah, it has worked well,” said Afridi.

However, the flamboyant all-rounder struggled to get runs throughout the tournament, as his highest individual score remained a paltry 20 runs, which he scored against Canada.

He was also heavily censured for preferring to bat lower down the order, instead of taking responsibility by coming in to bat earlier to support his team.

According to the man himself, he is happy to play the role of a “floater” batsman. “I should use my batting according to the situation. There should be no set position for me,” Afridi said.

The all-rounder also remains unfazed by the criticism of his batting in recent times, and is looking to make the most of the upcoming Caribbean tour to regain his touch with the bat.

“Definitely, there is criticism and I always take the criticism positively. The West Indies tour and the Zimbabwe tour are good series for me to regain my batting form, for me to perform well with the bat and the ball. I acknowledge that recently I may not have worked as hard on my batting as I should have, but I have addressed that,” said Afridi.