Shahid Afridi was a much better Test cricketer: Shoaib Akhtar

Shahid Afridi was a much better Test cricketer: Shoaib Akhtar

Afridi notched five Test centuries in 27 matches.

Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi
Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan cricketer, reckons that Shahid Afridi could have excelled in Test cricket. Afridi made his debut in the format back in 1998 and promised right away, but in the next 12 years he could only take part in 27 matches. In those games, he could manage 1,716 runs at an average of 36.51. The fact that he got five tons and eight fifties showed his prowess.

In his second Test itself in 1999, the Khyber Agency-born smashed 141 runs off 191 balls against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. His top score of 156 off 128 came versus India in 2006 in Faisalabad. Talking about his former teammate, the 44-year-old Akhtar said that the all-rounder was a better Test player as compared to ODI cricket.

“I always told Shahid Afridi that you are much better Test player as compared to ODIs. I have always believed that he was a much better bowler than a batsman,” Akhtar was quoted as saying on a local sports channel. With the ball, Afridi nipped out 48 wickets with a five-wicket haul to show for his efforts.

Rashid Latif also backs Shahid Afridi

Rashid Latif, another retired speedster, was of the opinion that Afridi shouldn’t have given up on Test cricket. “Shahid Afridi should not have left Test cricket because he had a decent record. We also advised him against quitting Test cricket but he had made up his mind about focusing on white-ball cricket,” Latif mentioned.

Afridi retired from Test cricket in 2006. But he came out of retirement for a solitary Test in 2010. Immediately after he again hung up his boots. He last played Test cricket against Australia at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. Thereafter, he decided to focus solely in ODI and T20I cricket. He last played international cricket for World XI against the West Indies back in May 31.

Recently, he played for the Dhaka Platoon in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBL) followed by his stint for the Multan Sultans in the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL). Even at the age of 40, Afridi is still going all guns blazing and it remains to be seen when he’ll bid adieu to the sport.