Since the ODI World Cup in 2023, Pakistan’s cricket team has witnessed a stark decline in performance, marking a disheartening trend that has persisted across formats. The team, which had high hopes heading into the World Cup, managed to win only three out of eight matches and faced an early exit in the group stages, a disappointing outcome for the cricket-crazy nation.
Internal issues exacerbated the team’s struggles, with reports of rifts circulating within the squad, particularly centered around captain Babar Azam. The discord extended to the relationship between Babar and star bowler Shaheen Afridi, further impacting team dynamics. Shaheen, once a formidable force, has faced a prolonged dip in form, failing to deliver the kind of performances that were once synonymous with his name.
Post the ODI World Cup, Babar Azam made the difficult decision to step down as captain, paving the way for Shaheen Afridi in T20Is and Shan Masood in Tests. However, the change in leadership did not immediately translate to positive results. Pakistan’s tour of Australia saw them suffer a clean sweep in the three-match Test series, with Shaheen unable to make a significant impact.
Shaheen Afridi And Babar Azam Have Stopped Talking To Each Other
Now, under the captaincy of Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan finds itself in a precarious position in New Zealand, having lost the first two T20Is. Reports of unrest within the team add to the growing concerns, painting a challenging picture for Pakistani cricket as they grapple with the need for revival and unity in the face of continuous setbacks.
According to Pakistani journalist Ejaz Bakhri, the current state of the Pakistan cricket team is marred by disunity and a lack of coordination among the players, particularly under the captaincy of Shaheen Afridi. Bakhri expressed concern over Shaheen Afridi’s performance as captain, noting that he appeared lost and failed to consult with fellow players, especially during challenging moments when the bowlers were under attack from the Kiwi batters.
Bakhri highlighted a specific incident where Shaheen Afridi placed former captain Babar Azam at deep mid-on but allegedly did not communicate with him during the game. This lack of communication between Afridi and Azam, who had previously led the team successfully, suggested a breakdown in teamwork and coordination. Bakhri pointed out that Babar Azam was once the captain under whom the team performed well, emphasizing the contrast with the current situation.
The journalist also criticized the decision-making of Zaka Ashraf, suggesting that despite changes in captaincy, coaching staff, and players, the team’s performance has not improved. Bakhri expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the alterations made by Ashraf, indicating that the team continues to face challenges, raising questions about the overall impact of the changes on the team’s success. In essence, Bakhri’s comments shed light on the perceived lack of unity, communication, and leadership within the Pakistan cricket team, contributing to its ongoing struggles.
Pakistani journalist, Ejaz Bakhri said: “Pakistan players are not united. Shaheen Afridi looked lost as a captain and didn’t consult with anyone when the bowlers were getting hammered by Kiwi batters. Shaheen placed former captain Babar Azam at deep mid-on and the two didn’t talk to each other during the game. Babar was Pakistan’s skipper and the team performed well under his leadership. There was no coordination between Babar and Shaheen. Afridi looked tense and alone. I don’t know what Zaka Ashraf has done to this team. He has changed the captain, coaches and players but the team is still not winning.”
Shaheen Clown this is your real class. I know wo 3 sixes(2021) sy he tum babar ky against hou🤡
You’ll pay for it soon In sha’Allah pic.twitter.com/xrQHhqrNoA
— CoCoMo (@CoCoMo0o56) January 12, 2024