Shaheen hits back after Wasim, Waqar accuse him of prioritising T20Is over Tests | Cricket

Shaheen Shah Afridi hit back at those criticising him for resting from the third and final Test against Australia in Syndey. Afridi, Pakistan’s pace spearhead was rested from the Sydney Test keeping the five-match T20I series against New Zealand in mind. Afridi is supposed to lead Pakistan for the first time as their new T20I captain on the New Zealand tour starting from January 12. The decision was heavily criticised by greats of Pakistan cricket Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Wasim went on to state that the decision was Shaeen’s alone and not the team management’s.

Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi(AP)

During the third Test, Shaheen, while speaking to the host broadcasters, cleared the air and confirmed that it was the call of the team management. “I played two games, and a lot of overs to be honest. They’re just managing my workload, the medical team and team management decided to take a rest for this (Test),” Afridi said in an interaction with the broadcasters during Lunch on Day 1 in Sydney.

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Afridi bowled 45.1 overs in the first Test in Perth and picked up two wickets. The left-armer had a much better outing in the Boxing Day Test, picking up two in the first and four in the second but to do that, he had to bowl 54 overs. In between, he also featured in the practice match against the Australians.

Afridi rues dropped catches

Afridi said he should have gotten more wickets on this tour if catches weren’t dropped off his bowling. “I think that I can take more wickets, but unfortunately catches win matches, and unfortunately we missed those opportunities on the field most of the time. It has been a good tour so far and the last game that we played was quite awesome. As a bowling unit, and as a team, we gave our best, the result was not in our hands, but we tried.

“The wicket looks okay so far, and in the matches that have been played here before, it has favoured the team batting first. They bowled in good areas this morning, and Saim Ayub our superstar, he is new, so these sorts of things happen. But, we will come back soon. It was a tough first session, but Shan and Rizwan are still at the crease and we are hopeful that they will put together a huge partnership,” Afridi added.

As far as the third Test was concerned, Australia captain Pat Cummins took 5-61 for his third consecutive five-wicket haul as Pakistan’s brittle top order was again exposed before a combative lower order rally helped the tourists to 313. In reply, Australia were 6/0 at stumps on Day 1.

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