New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) Former Pakistan skipper WasimAkram has backed the PCB”s decision to appoint Shahid Afridias captain for the upcoming World Cup, saying the 30-year-oldall-rounder is the right man to lead the country in the megaevent.
“The Pakistan board has made the right choice inselecting Afridi as the skipper. Despite having delayed thedecision for so long, I am happy that in the end they chosethe most able man for the job,” Akram said.
“Afridi has been leading the side for a while and hasgotten to grips with the nuances of captaincy. In cricket, youneed one or two years to perfect the art of captaincy and thisis why I think Afridi was the best option available,” theformer player added.
With speculations over who would lead Pakistan in theWorld Cup finally laid to rest, Akram felt the side will nowbe able to look forward to the tournament with renewedconfidence.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad, who scored a fluent century in thefifth ODI against New Zealand, came in for rich praise fromthe former legend who felt the 19-year-old will not beoverawed by the occasion.
“Shehzad has been playing sensational cricket. I knowthis kid. He is a real fearless character who does not feelthat much pressure. I think he is definitely one to watch outfor. His idea of defence is to attack and he will beconsistent and lethal on sub-continent tracks,” Akram wasquoted as saying by espnstar.com.
Talking about other players who can make a difference,Akram reckoned veterans Abdur Razzaq and Shoaib Akhtar to playkey roles.
“I think Razzaq”s aim for the World Cup should be to endas Man of the Tournament. He is one of the best all-roundersout there and is definitely a real match-winner.
“He has to focus a bit on his bowling and fielding buthis explosiveness with the bat, lower down the order isunmatched in world cricket. He is one of those rare people whocan smash a load of runs off very few balls, changing the gamein an instant,” Akram said.
“Umar Gul will be the main bowler, but if Akhtar staysfit and healthy, he can still make a difference,” he said. PTIAH
Story first published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 3:15 [IST]