Monday, January 3, 2011

Pakistan better suited for ODI cricket - Afridi

Pakistan's one-day captain Shahid Afridi has said Pakistan will be a surprise package in the World Cup later this year, despite the problems plaguing the team's recent campaigns, due to them being better suited to the 50-over format.
"No matter what people say and believe, I'm confident that Pakistan will do really well in the World Cup," Afridi told the News after returning from New Zealand following the three-match Twenty20 series there which his side lost 1-2. "I won't make any predictions but would make it clear that Pakistan will take their best shot for the World Cup title."
With under 50 days left for the event, Pakistan are yet to finalise their 30-man preliminary squad. Three of their key players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir -- have been provisionally suspended following the spot-fixing controversy and their fates will be decided in Doha, later this week. There are doubts over the futures of two other players - Shoiab Malik and Kamran Akmal - who will appear before the board's integrity committee prior to the announcement of the preliminary list.
"It's certainly not an ideal situation," Afridi said of the side's controversy-ridden build-up to the World Cup. "But it's our history that we give our best under pressure."
Pakistan have performed reasonably well in their recent one-day campaigns, taking five-match series against England and South Africa to the final games. Afridi said Pakistan's one-day side was more likely to succeed than their outfits for the other formats.
"I would agree that a lot of work has to be done before we start doing well in Tests consistently," he said. "Even our Twenty20 team needs a world of improvement. But when it comes to one-day cricket, we are close to achieving an ideal combination. Most of the players in our Twenty20 team are better suited to the one-day format."
Afridi hinted he had given up on the option of opening the innings following his failures at the top in the New Zealand Twenty20s. "The idea behind my decision to open was to help give the team some fast and useful starts," he said. "But it didn't work out. Now I've decided to stick to No.6 spot both for Twenty20s and ODIs in the future."

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