Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Afridi Starts in Style!

Many would have you believe that the sight of a topless Shahid Afridi wrapped up in a white towel was the moment to cherish from today's twenty20 match against Sri Lanka.

For all the female fans, it probably was.

For me however, the moment to cherish was when Shahid Afridi walked out for the toss.

In Pakistan's colors, in Pakistan's top job.

From calling right at the toss, to the knock he played, to the way he manoeuvered the field and the bowling changes, to the way he led his troops, Afridi did not put a foot wrong tonight.

In his very first match as Pakistan captain, Afridi was in command of everything he did.

He stabilized Pakistan's innings initially; then when the time was right, he broke loose and raced to his third consecutive 50 in Twenty20 Internationals.

He remained calm when Sri Lanka's openers started pounding Pakistan's bowling; more importantly he kept his men calm.

His field placing was immaculate, as were his bowling changes.

The match could not have ended without the world witnessing the one arm raised Afridi salute, so he gave us a wicket.

There was an apparent change in Pakistan's body language tonight; they looked confident; they were energetic; they batted aggressively but sensibly; they played with passion; they fielded with purpose.

What stood out was that they all responded to their captain, Shahid Afridi.

The end result was a thumping 52 run victory for Pakistan and a smashing start to Shahid Afridi's captaincy stint.

So where to from here then?

Afridi for ODI Captain? In time I believe.

For now though, I leave you with what one of my friends had as his facebook status update:

"Defending the T20 title in 8 months? I say bring it on!"

Make your pitch on this post...



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20 Pitched:

  1. SM said...
     

    Congrats Q , I watched the whole match .. and I should say the Boom Boom man showed lots of grey hairs .. well played pak . the only regrett would be that teh wins started coming in a bit too late for them .. Is this some sort of record that SA has collected 3 MOM awards in a row in t20 ?

    Today i had a Comp leave and I got a chance to watch full match . What a day ?

  2. Husha said...
     

    "For all the female fans, it probably was."
    Um, no. -___-

    Anyway, Pakistan's fielding placement was great for once. (Younis Khan, I think, never got the hang of positioning his men right.) That, and the encouragement and purpose Afridi brought (compare it to the previous games where Pakistan seemed resigned to defeat, dropping easy catches, getting out in minutes)I think Afridi deserves to be *permanent* captain.

  3. Sam said...
     

    king in T20, poor man in ODIs. captaincy effect ? gimme captaincy i shall play and if not i wont......

    selfishism.....

    why didnt he fire in ODIs under Yunis ?

  4. Sam said...
     

    SM bhai, please help me with link for live cricket games in US.

  5. Hani said...
     

    Sam always looking for something to complain about Pakistan. Hater effect?

  6. Q said...
     

    SM,

    I watched the full game too... woke up at 7am and the live stream link worked perfectly.. couldn't miss Afridi's big game!

    The 3 consecutive MoM awards is in fact a record.

    Completely, what a day!

  7. Q said...
     

    Husha,

    Well maybe for most female fans :-)

    The fielding was truly brilliant.. the right players in the right place, no dropped catches, the fielders showing energy.. was very good.. I don't know if it was the Afridi effect or just the team was pumped up since it was a mere 20-over game..

  8. Q said...
     

    Sam,

    There's a difference in ODIs and T20Is.. Afridi did fire in T20Is under Younis in the World T20, did he not? He didn't have the captaincy then, so you can't say its due to the captaincy.. Afridi generally does better in T20Is.. but I would say that the captaincy brought out the best in him.

    As for the ODIs in Lanka.. I don't think Afridi did badly.. he batted once higher up and scored a 30 odd.. in the other games he came at 7 or 8 .. his bowling and fielding was fine..

  9. Q said...
     

    Sam,

    I'm also in the US and have been watching the games on Cric7.. www.cric7.com .. the links works well..

  10. Q said...
     

    Hani,

    But i always have an argument against him :-)

  11. Sam said...
     

    Q, WADA is going to get you. on bored u declared ur whereabouts in London :P

  12. Q said...
     

    Sam,

    BCC declared I'm in Manchester but I am in California and drugged! WADA is after my A$$!

  13. Sam said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
  14. Sam said...
     

    Q, r u in CST zone ?

  15. Sam said...
     

    Hani

    not hate my dear bro / sis. But a reality which u take it for hate. i dont "hate" Younis Khan, Wasim Akram now (i hated him when he played and took wkts against Ind in Sharjah), Inzy and Younis Waqar....

    I take a dig on Butt, Miandad Ibrahim and Afridi, you find it hate...

    i call it disagree....never mind dost...to each his own....

  16. Q said...
     

    Sam, my brother tells me that I'm in MST.. In the North West..

  17. Atif said...
     

    Hello All,

    I was so excited to see Shahid lala captain the side...
    and he is one person i would never associatte to cheap politics within the team..

    There has been a long running debate as to whether he should be made the ODI captain looking the way he leads the Karachi side...i wish he is. For once i did not see frequent boundaries being scored against pakistan and dint find myself saying ' yaaar, fielders kahan hain hamare ? '
    Even Ramiz raja pointed this out " Shahid Afridi knows what he's doing "...

    We need this promotion to occur ASAP :-(

  18. LiB said...
     

    Q,

    i like your friend with the Facebook status!! ;)

    you are right on target when you say in time he will ascend to the ODI Captaincy but you know how we Pakistani fans are, the comparisons have already begun! i would love to see Afridi captain the ODI team, but at the same time i also believe there is still time for that to happen, give the other khan the time he deserves. Younas is not such a bad captain that most of us make him to be.. i know those smiles and laughs can sometime can get to us but behind the smiles is a serious person who understands the situation and it is actually very brave that he finds the courage to laugh through it..

    anyways coming back to Afridi, he brings a different energy level to the captaincy, it was a site seeing him running from his position just to pat Saeed Ajmal after Ajmal had bowled a good delivery and the way he was encouraging the young Akmal while batting.. hope it wasnt just a one-off thing..

    and yesterday's team composition was almost perfect with the resources in hand only if Fawad wouldve played in place of Misbah.. this is one change that i want!

  19. Q said...
     

    Atif,

    I'm not too sure.. I mean even thought Afridi did an awesome job, I don't think YK is doing that badly.. he needs a longer term to prove himself.. maybe for now we should make Afridi VC of the ODI team.. that way he will be in a more responsible position and able to help YK out..

  20. Q said...
     

    LIB,

    Yep.. everything Afridi did was spot on.. I loved the fact that Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik were at long on and long off at a point.. anyone else would keep them in the covers.. thats where they should be in the beginning but when batsmen are hitting hard and straight u need ur best fielders at those boundaries.. awesome he was!

    I also wanted to see Fawad play instead of Misbah.. besides that the team was great... probably Gul will come in for Rao in the future..

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