Pakistan drop Afridi for India one-day series
Pakistan on Monday dropped big-hitting allrounder Shahid Afridi from
their squad for the three-match one-day international series against
arch-rivals India starting this month.
The 32-year-old captained Pakistan in their 2011 World Cup campaign,
which ended in a semi-final defeat to India, but has been in poor form
of late, managing just 76 runs and five wickets in his last 10 one-dayers.
He will miss the 50-over series -- the neighbours’ first in five
years -- but selectors kept faith with him for the shortest form of the
game, naming him in the 15-man Twenty20 squad led by Mohammad Hafeez.
Shoaib Malik likewise misses out on the one-day squad but makes the
T20 list, while experienced allrounder Abdul Razzaq was axed altogether
as chief selector Iqbal Qasim said it was time to blood some younger
players in one of sport’s fiercest rivalries.
“We have selected a balanced team with the consensus of the selection
committee, both the captains and the coach with a hope that these teams
will give good results on the India tour,” Qasim told reporters.
Afridi has taken 348 wickets and scored more than 7,000 runs in his
349 one-day internationals but there has been speculation over his
future after a poor run and a weak showing at the Twenty20 World Cup in
Sri Lanka in September-October.
“We have selected Afridi in the Twenty20 squad only and have given
Zulfiqar Babar a chance in both the teams as he has been performing well
in domestic cricket,” said Qasim of the uncapped 34-year-old left-arm
Imran Nazir, who opened the batting at the World Twenty20, was
dropped, while batsman Asad Shafiq and left-arm spinner Raza Hasan were
ruled out through injury. Pakistan fly to New Delhi on December 22 and
play the first Twenty20 match in Bangalore three days later.