It really hurts when the cricket-loving nation sees its team, once among most dangerous teams of the world, beaten up so badly at the hands of almost every team; be it Bangladesh, England or more recently New Zealand.
A wave of anger prevailed among the masses, particularly journalistic community, when Afridi termed a question from a journalist `pathetic and below standard,’ pointing towards the individual performance of the T20 skipper itself.
However, it seemed that Afridi had taken the question and criticism on him very seriously when he performed all-round scoring 23 runs off just 8 balls besides taking 2 wickets and 3 catches in the field contributing considerably to the team’s victory against New Zealand, but the change proved temporary when the team performed miserably in second and third T20 international with Afridi’s performance below the par.
He scored just scored 7 runs in second match and conceded 38 runs in four overs without any wicket, while in third match Afridi scored just 8 runs.
Cricket experts believe that the national team’s performance against the Black Caps was alarming keeping in view the fact that T20 world cup was approaching and Pakistan had always remained favorite to lift the trophy.
“The recent performance of the team is really disappointing as there is no match winner in the team,” said Sarfraz Nawaz while talking to a TV channel.
He said world cup was approaching but the team has zero preparation for the mega event.
The statement of Afridi after the match that next time there would be better performance of the team was a joke with the nation, Sarfraz remarked.
The national team which was ranked at number six in the T20 rankings had lost its place after the series defeat against New Zealand and now had gone down to number seven position.
There are also some news circulating about grouping in the team which is damaging the overall performance of the players.
“There is a dispute going on between coach Waqar Younus and Shahid Afridi about selecting the playing eleven which is also affecting the team’s performance,” the former fast bowler claimed.
Whatever the reality is, cricket fans just want to see their team fighting even if they lose the match.But, unfortunately that fighting spirit is missing, giving rise to doubts and questions.
Shahid Afridi is a star but he will have to shine, not just for the cricket-loving nation but for himself as well, as the mega event of T20 will be the last tournament of his international career, and by leading the team to victory he can win hearts forever and give a proper answer to critics.