Afridi critical of Haris Rauf as PAK pacer picks BBL over team | Cricket

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Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan captain, believes that standout fast bowler Haris Rauf should have been included in the Test squad for the Australia tour rather than participating in the Big Bash League (BBL). Rauf opted out of the series, stating a desire to manage his workload and prioritize the well-being of his body. Despite this, he played four matches for the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s BBL concurrent with the ongoing Test series against Australia.

Pakistan's Haris Rauf in action(REUTERS)
Pakistan’s Haris Rauf in action(REUTERS)

Afridi, considering Rauf’s pace and abilities, believes the bowler could have made a valuable contribution under the given circumstances. Pakistan are missing Naseem Shah’s services due to injury as well, meaning Shaheen Afridi remained the sole frontline pacer among those with considerable international experience in the series. Additionally, Afridi suggests that Rauf would have relished the challenge of bowling on the pitches prepared by Australia in Perth and Melbourne.

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“I think Haris [Rauf] should be part of this side instead rather than [the BBL],” Afridi, speaking to media at the MCG, said.

“In these conditions, the kind of pace he has, he would have performed well and enjoyed himself on the kinds of pitches Australia prepared in Perth and here.”

Afridi expressed his belief that, despite a reduction in pace, Shaheen Afridi wasn’t dealing with an injury. He further emphasized the importance for Pakistan to focus on building depth in their cricket squad rather than relying solely on individual

“I’ve never got the impression that Shaheen has an injury. If you’re injured, you can’t play as a fast bowler. He knows his responsibility and how important he is to the team. The fast bowlers… we are expecting a lot from them because they’ve done well in the past. Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen etc., have performed so well we expect them to perform in every match. Relentless consistency is challenging in cricket.

“I have always said that unless our bench is strong, we won’t be able to make the best decisions. The A team should be as strong as the main team, so if Shaheen or Babar or Rizwan aren’t strong, we shouldn’t have the excuses of players being unavailable, like we do with Naseem now. When our bench is strong, we will no longer have excuses.”

Shan Masood’s men squandered a golden opportunity to register Pakistan’s first Test win over Australia Down Under on Friday, conceding a 79-run defeat in Melbourne. Chasing 317, Pakistan were bowled out for 238.

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