Pakistan bowler Junaid Khan believes Shaheen Afridi is avoiding rest as the 21- year-old is afraid of losing his place to another young bowler in the team. Junaid Khan also highlighted how Pakistan's team management doesn't give enough backing to their players when they go through a lean patch.
Shaheen Afridi has emerged as an all-format player for Pakistan. However, questions have been raised over how the Pakistan team management is running him to the ground by playing him constantly across all formats.
Junaid Khan, who has played 22 Test and 76 ODIs for Pakistan, urged the team management to give Shaheen Afridi some much-needed rest.
"Shaheen Afridi definitely needs rest. The management needs to make sure he doesn’t bowl a lot during the net sessions. Shaheen probably doesn’t want to rest himself because he might have fear of losing his place to a youngster, who might perform in his place. He must be thinking they might drop him from one format if he doesn’t perform in few matches," said Junaid Khan in an interview with Cricket Pakistan.
Junaid Khan added that the Pakistan players could never feel secure about their places in the XI as they were dropped after a few bad performances.
"In our culture, even if a player performs for six years and then doesn’t do well in two games, he is replaced by a new player who has done well in only few games. Everyone forgets that player’s performances for last six years and instead prefers younger talent. So our players are insecure about losing their place," said the 31-year-old
Many expected Shaheen Afridi to be given a breather in the ongoing two-match Test series against Zimbabwe. However, the left-arm fast-bowler played the first Test, picking up 4 wickets in the first innings while going wicketless in the second. Pakistan won comfortably by an innings and 116 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
We should learn about managing workload from England: Junaid Khan
England's rotation policy might have raised a few eyebrows, but Junaid Khan opines that the Three Lions are doing a terrific job in managing their players' workload. The 31-year-old pointed out how James Anderson and Stuart Broad were assured of their places even when they were given a rest.
"We should learn about managing workload from England. During their recent Test series against India, they rotated James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Broad and Anderson would rest even after taking five or six wickets in the previous match. That is because they are secure of their place in the team. They know they will play in the future matches," added Khan.
Junaid Khan, after his initial breakthrough in international cricket, faded off late. The left-arm bowler last played for Pakistan in an ODI in 2019 and has been out of the reckoning for a place in the national team.