Pakistan will bounce back for ODIs, T20: Afridi

Saturday, January 16, 2010

HOBART - Pakistan’s one-day vice captain Shahid Afridi is hoping that the team will bounce back in their limited-overs series against Australia after losing the Test series.

The flamboyant allrounder said Pakistan has the firepower to give the hosts a run for their money in the five-match ODI contest as well as the tour-ending Twenty20 International in Melbourne on Feb 5. The one-day series will begin from Jan 22 in Brisbane.

Pakistan is currently trailing 0-2 in the three-match Test series and seems down and out in the third and final Test under progress in Hobart after Australia piled up 519-8 declared on the second day.

Afridi, 29, blamed lack of Test experience for Pakistan’s below-par showing in the series but made it clear that Mohammad Yousuf’s men are stronger in limited-overs cricket.

“The problem is that in this (Test) team most of them are one-day players,” Afridi told ‘The News’ in an interview.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we are a very good one-day team. I’m confident that we will do much better in the ODIs and the Twenty20 game.” Afridi said that Pakistan has a solid chance of winning the ODI series to avenge their Test defeats.

“I won’t say that we are going to win the one-day series but our team definitely has the potential to do that. We will definitely be playing good cricket in the series.” But he stressed that the team’s senior players including himself will have to deliver to lift Pakistan’s hopes in the one-day series.

“We are the ones who have to lead by example. It’s always important for the senior players to perform their role but against top teams like Australia, it’s just vital. You can’t beat them without the senior players doing their job.”

Afridi is in Adelaide with South Australia to feature in the Big Bash - Australia’s domestic Twenty20 tournament. He was an instant success in the popular event and has played an important role in guiding South Australia to the final of the tournament to be held in Adelaide on Jan 23.

Afridi, however, will be missing the final as he will be joining Pakistan in Brisbane on Jan 19 ahead of the series opener there on Jan 22.

Will he miss playing the eagerly-awaited Big Bash final? “Not really,” he said. “I mean for me playing for Pakistan is the ultimate thing and I hope to play my role in the one-day series.”

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