‘Jab cricket rulati hai, bahut rulati hai’
Shahid Afridi in an exclusive webchat on hindustantimes.com, answers questions about life, cricket and the rest. Read excerpts from our interesting session with the Pakistani cricketer.india Updated: Nov 06, 2007 02:32 IST
After his team’s easy win over Delhi, Pak allrounder Shahid Afridi was casual and relaxed when he visited the HT office here for a webchat on hindustantimes.com. Excerpts:
It is often said that Shahid Afridi has the strongest batting grip in cricket. What does it mean exactly?
Aisey hi hai... Kisi se haath milate hein, pyaar se milaate hain... While batting, you have to hold the bat tight. You can't hit a shot with a loose grip.
I would love to... But the position I'm batting at, I don't think I can break the record. When Saeed bhai made that record, he was batting with a runner. He told me only I could break the record. I used to open then. I said, Saeed bhai, aapki zubaan mubaraq ho!
That was Sachin Tendulkar's bat, he had given it to Waqar Younis to get more bats from Sialkot...Waqar gave me that bat to play with and test out... But Sachin has also made a duck with that bat!
What is your favourite shot? If you were to hit six sixes in a row, which bowler would you target?
All shots are favourites, as long as they go for six! Six hona chahiye... Aur jiska bura din hoga, usko six sixers maarna chaahonga... Irfan Pathan ka bahut kehte hein log.
Your happiest moments in India, away from the ground?
The first time I came here, I had a group that was great... We enjoyed a lot, the first few times. We used to go around and get mobbed. We used to watch movies, and get the movies restarted! Zyadati karte thhey, par karni padti thhi!
In terms of aggression, who is your closest competitor in the Indian team?
Sreesanth…but he's maybe a bit too aggressive. But he's a fast bowler and he should be aggressive. He should scare people with his eyes and not use his tongue too much.<b1>
When you have bad spells, do you ever consider quitting?
Achchey din bahut jaldi guzar jaate hain, bure din mushkil se guzarte hein. After the 2003 World Cup, I thought I would not play. I gave away my kit. But my family spoke to me, and when Pathan saab (Afridi himself) became cool, I changed my mind! Aisi stage aati hai kabhi kabhar, jab cricket rulati hai, bahut rulati hai...
What do you feel about MS Dhoni's captaincy?
He's the right choice. He's an aggressive cricketer and will make an aggressive captain...
Can India perform well without Sachin and Sourav?
India can do well without Sachin, Sourav and Rahul… they just have to believe in themselves…it's all about faith. I’ve said repeatedly, no modern team does well only because of one person. It's about 11 players.
When do you decide on what shot to play?
Sometimes, it's premeditated, that I just have to hit the ball. Sometimes, I plan two shots, plan to hit the ball according to where it has landed.
Considering that you are one of the best all rounders, why are you not captain yet?
It's a matter of pride to play for Pakistan... And it's a great honour to captain Pakistan... After the World Cup, when even Younis Khan had refused to captain...In domestic cricket, I led my team to two titles...I thought I could be captain of Pakistan. Insaan sochta kuchh hai, hota kuchh...Shoaib Malik became captain and he's doing well. <b4>
After the alleged altercation between Shoaib Akhtar and Asif, in which your name was also dragged, how’s your relationship with Shoaib?
Shoaib is my teammate and a friend... After that incident, I have nothing bad in my heart for him.
Won't Pakistan miss Inzamam?
No doubt, Inzy has been a great player… but no one individual is irreplaceable. Even I or Shoaib will not be missed.
First Published: Nov 02, 2007 23:05 IST