I don’t understand why everyone is hell-bent to declare Afridi as a hero or a gracious loser.
Afridi has a history of all sorts of buffoonery that can be committed on cricketing field.
From abusing opposition players as well as his own team mates, to fighting on field, or in dressing room, to tampering ball, creating factions within team, he has done it all.
One fine day, suddenly he has been made a hero, just because he was smiling on the field, and was shaking hands with an even bigger smile after the loss?
I think we guys are so much drank in our victory that we’re conveniently ignoring the manner Pakistani team played.
This Pakistani team looked so uninterested in the field, there was no intensity, and not all looked hungry for win on the field (though there were superficial team huddles and all), that passion which is usually associated with them was clearly missing. They all were looking at different directions while fielding.
Something was clearly not well in their dressing room, and that was evident from the way the chased the modest score of 260 on a slow batting track. They made Munaf/Nehra look like McGrath.
Agreed, ball was not coming to bat as expected, but how can one justify the way Younis Khan ex-captain and a usually a better performer against India, paced his innings, he was playing like a nervous debutant, was struggling against likes of buffet bowler Yuvi.
His 13 runs of 32 balls, and Misbah’s 17 runs of his first 42 laid the foundation for their team’s burial.
How can Misbah (another ex-captain and a better performer against India) start his inning like that, what was he waiting for? Why the hell Razzaq came before Afridi, agreed Afridi is not in good form these days, but still any day he should be placed above Razzaq in batting order.
And if intention of sending Razzaq up was to step-up the pace but again the way he played his 9 balls, he hardly looked in any kind of hurry, there wasn’t a single Razzaq like ‘clear front leg and smash the ball over covers or bowlers head’ swing at the ball.
He too was content in blocking the ball.
Then came so newly crowned hero Afridi, when Pakis were some 70-80 runs short of target and difference between balls n runs was 20-22 only, and with batting power play still to be taken , and with last recognized pair on the crease, still he DID NOT take the power play.
Though power-plays are designed to suit players like Afridi who try to hit every ball they face in air and still he decided against taking power play. What was he waiting for?
What kind of captaincy was that? Why there was no sense of responsibility from his actions with bat?
Probably, he already knew the outcome of the match before hand, probably he knew that seniors like Younis/Misbah/Razzaq ( and non-playing Akhtar) would be leading a non-cooperation movement on the field.
Hence, his so-Manmohan-Singh-like smiles and laughter in defeat (which is so unlike Afridi).
He was smiling at his own helplessness rather being a gracious loser.