Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi and senior batsman Younis Khan have emerged as strong contenders to make a comeback to the national team for the coming tours to West Indies and Zimbabwe after the selectors dumped them for the Champions Trophy.
Afridi in particular also made his intentions clear that he was ready for the West Indies tour despite his recent poor bowling form.
"I have been training hard for the coming tour to West Indies and I feel I am in rhythm for the tough tour. I am confident I can still give a lot to Pakistan cricket," Afridi said in an interview on 'Dawn TV'.
The allrounder whose absence was felt by fans in the Champions Trophy, said that he also felt that it was time to give chances to some new players but advised against pressing the panic button. "The selectors should start trying out some new players with the future in mind but it would be risky to make too many changes in the team," he said.
The outspoken allrounder said there was talent in Pakistan's domestic cricket but they needed to be scouted and groomed properly. "Even our bench strength is not bad, we have some good talented players who can be given a proper run to establish themselves in international cricket," Afridi said. The former Pakistan captain also made no bones of the fact that it was easier for the national team players to communicate with a local coach.
"The role of coaches is important but yes it is a fact that our players tend to be more comfortable while communicating with a local coach like when Mohsin Khan was with the team," Afridi said. The PCB didn't extend Mohsin's interim contract as head coach in March, 2012 despite his impressive record with the team and instead opted to appoint Australian coach, Dav Whatmore with the team. Whatmore's tenure has proved to be a disappointing one for Pakistan with the team losing four out of six Tests and 12 out of 22 One-day internationals.