“When Inzamam-ul-Haq Would Dive…”: Shahid Afridi Tears Into Captain Babar Azam With Unique Example | Cricket News

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam finds himself in a never-seen-before situation, facing criticism from virtually every Pakistan fan, former cricketer, or expert. Since Pakistan’s unexpected defeat against Afghanistan, the entire cricketing fraternity back home has turned against Babar, criticising his leadership skills. Shahid Afridi, one of the greats of the game, has ripped into Babar for his captaincy style that has failed to get the best out of the team. Afridi urged Babar to lead by example if he is to turn things around in the coming games of the World Cup.

Sharing examples from his own days as an active cricketer, Afridi said: “When you are not in the game [not focused], then these things [fielding issues] will happen. When you are trying to hide somewhere, when you are not thinking positively, I think that at times we are waiting for miracles, miracles don’t just happen. They happen with brave men who know how to fight,” Afridi said while talking Samaa TV.

“Look, a captain is everything. If a captain gives his best, dives during the field, backs other players between overs, the entire team will get [more] active, because when they see that the captain is giving his all and we are not, they feel ashamed that my captain is doing so much, why can’t I be the same?”

“It has happened in the past, when I was the captain or Mohammad Yousuf was, when we used to run in the ground and support players, then the entire team used to charge up. When Inzamam would dive during the field, then, believe me, we players used to feel ashamed that why are we not diving when the captain is. At the end of the day, everything comes right back to the captain.”

Afridi cited the examples of other teams like Australia who refused to go easy on opponents, no matter the situation. He urged Babar to always think about applying pressure irrespective of the likely outcome of the match.

“It is the captain’s job to apply pressure, a pacer is bowling and there is no slip? Four are required on 12 balls and you’ve taken backward point? Apply pressure. What do the Australians do? They take one to two wickets and then put all of their players in the circle to apply pressure, like they did against Pakistan.

“Captaining your national side is a matter of honour but it is not a bed of roses. When you do good, everyone praises you and when you don’t, everyone blames you as well as the head coach,” Afridi added.

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