Former Pakistan batsman Aamer Sohail has revealed that he feels the team management made a mistake in including Shahid Afridi as an opener in the 1999 World Cup squad. Sohail claims that the all-rounder back then was neither able to bowl nor bat.
As per a report in Hindustan Times that cited Sohail's YouTube channel, he said that when he was captain in 1998, he had decided with selectors that the team would have regular openers for the World Cup who can stay at the wicket and play out the new ball.
Sohail went on to reveal that unfortunately the management opted for Shahid Afridi who had the ability on flat low-bouncing tracks to take on bowlers and bring the opposition under pressure. However, it was a big gamble in demanding conditions.
“He was neither able to bowl nor able to bat. If I was the captain instead of Wasim Akram, I would have preferred Mohammad Yousuf,” he added.
Sohail also revealed that he was not a fan of Pakistan deciding to bat first after winning the toss. The Australian side's bowling attack, led by Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne were able to bowl out the team for just 132. Australia chased down the score in the 21st over and were crowned World Champions for a second time.
Afridi fared miserably in the 1999 edition, scoring only 93 runs in seven innings.
Sohail added that according to him there were two reasons for the loss at the World Cup. One was that the team combination was not correct and the second that the team decided to bat after winning the toss even though they knew it had been raining in London.
He went on to add that from his cricketing experience and observation, he can say that they played the entire World Cup like a local team.
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