Shahid Afridi says Pakistan ‘don’t have a player' like India's Hardik Pandya in T20Is

Updated on Sep 27, 2022 11:23 PM IST

Shahid Afridi said Pakistan banked on players like Asif Ali, Khushdi Shah, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan but none of them have been able to do the job as consistently as Hardik Pandya has done for India.

Shahid Afridi and Hardik Pandya
Shahid Afridi and Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has emerged as one of India's most trusted finishers with the bat in the shortest format of the game. Whether it is chasing under pressure or batting first freely, Hardik has put his hand up on multiple occasions to guide India home or help them put a formidable total with the bat. The all-rounder took India home in Asia Cup in a stiff run-chase against Pakistan. He smashed a whirlwind 71* off 26 balls in the first T20I and then showed nerves of steel hitting the winning boundary when 4 runs were needed off 2 balls in the series-decider in Hyderabad. Hardik Pandya's finishing acts with the bat have caught the eye of former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

Afridi agreed that Pakistan are lacking a finisher of Hardik Pandya's abilities when he was questioned by renowned sports presenter Sawera Pasha. "We require a player like Hardik Pandya. A player who is reliable, who comes down the order, bowls crucial overs and finishes the match with the bat. Do you think there is any player in the Pakistan team who is taking responsibility for finishing the matches with the bat?" Sawera asked Afridi in a Samaa TV show.

Afridi said Pakistan banked on players like Asif Ali, Khushdi Shah, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan but none of them have been able to do the job as consistently as Hardik Pandya has done for India. “You are right. "This kind of a finisher (like Pandya) we don't have. We thought Asif Ali, and Khushdil will do the job but they haven't. Nawaz is also not that consistent, and neither is Shadab. Among these four players, at least two need to be consistent. The period in which Shadab bowls is very crucial. The day he does a good job with the ball, Pakistan wins," Afridi said.

The former all-rounder said Pakistan need to plug the holes in their batting and bowling departments if they want to win the T20 World Cup in Australia slated to begin on October 16.

"In the kind of pitches on which we are playing now, you need two genuine fast bowlers and one all-rounder. The new guy Jamal that we have picked, why don't you play him? Play him as an all-rounder, make him bowl and then ask him to bat. You will get to know what type of cricketer he is. If Pakistan are dreaming to win the World Cup then they need to work a lot on their bowling and batting and minimize the mistakes that they have been committing in the last few matches," he added.

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