The Pakistan cricket team is famous for producing pace prodigies who can also swing the ball. In fact, reverse swing was first discovered by the stalwarts Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Even today, when one talks about lethal pace, one cannot help but remember Pakistan’s pace attack of the 80s and 90s.
One such former pacer, Aquib Javed, talked to Cricket Pakistan about the current lot of Pakistani bowlers. He gave a special mention to the young Shaheen Afridi.
Shaheen is the younger brother of Riaz Afridi, who played a single Test match for Pakistan in 2004. Shaheen spearheads Pakistan’s current pace attack in all three formats.
The left-arm pacer has taken 48 Test wickets so far in 16 Test matches. In fact, his ODI stats speak volumes about him, in which he has bagged 51 wickets in 25 matches at a brilliant bowling average of 22.90.
Talking about the same, Javed opined that the youngster should be rested regularly, and the national team should make sure that he doesn’t suffer any injuries due to his workload. He further went on to say that the Landi Kotal-born cricketer should only play important matches.
“It is injustice with Shaheen to make him play every match. Pakistan team should manage his workload carefully. They should not play him when the team has lost the series or adopt a proper rotation policy. Shaheen should only play those matches which are important,” Javed told Cricket Pakistan.
The 48-year-old veteran went as far as comparing Afridi to India’s Jasprit Bumrah. He said that with the new ball, Afridi is better than Bumrah, but the latter trumps the former when it comes to death bowling.
“[Jasprit] Bumrah is a really good bowler who is good at everything. Right, now he is better than Shaheen [Afridi] in terms of death bowling. Although, with the new ball, Shaheen is ahead of him,” Javed added.
In the ongoing tour of South Africa, Afridi took six wickets in three ODIs at an average of 32.33. And in T20Is, he has claimed two wickets in three matches at an average of 57 and an economy rate of 10.36.