What’s the story?
Former skipper Shahid Afridi has taunted the outspoken Ian Chappell after Pakistan defeated Australia in the second ODI at the MCG. The 36-year old took to Twitter to express his feelings on the commentator’s controversial outburst during the Test series.
Afridi’s message read, “Shabash Pakistan, great captaincy and inns Hafeez, Well done JK, Malik, Did you watch Ian Chappell?” (sic). The flamboyant all-rounder congratulated Mohammad Hafeez who won the Player of the Match award for his tidy spell as well as a 104-ball 72. He also hailed comeback man Junaid Khan and the experienced Shoaib Malik for their handy contributions.
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Afridi’s jibe at Chappell was in response to the 73-year old’s comments on Pakistan’s woeful record in Australia. When Misbah-ul-Haq’s team slumped to a 0-3 whitewash and extended the country’s record to 12 successive losses (including 4 consecutive whitewashes), the veteran claimed that Cricket Australia should give the Pakistan side a ‘kick up the bum’ and stop inviting them until they improve their performance.
The heart of the matter
Widely regarded as a no-nonsense personality in the game, Chappell’s statements managed to slander his own reputation considerably. The counter argument to his claims has stemmed from Australia’s abysmal recent record on Asian soil.
In a recent column for cricket.com.au, Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah pointed to Australia’s 9 straight Test defeats in the subcontinent (including 3 successive clean sweeps) and questioned Chappell’s fallacious logic.
With their six-wicket win in Melbourne, Pakistan not only pulled one back in the ongoing ODI series but also put an end to their dismal streak of 16 consecutive losses against Australia in Australia (spanning over 12 years) across all formats. Stand-in-skipper Hafeez will be urging his team to build on their turnaround when the 3rd ODI begins on Thursday at the WACA.
As for Afridi himself, the future looks pretty uncertain as the selectors have indicated their preference to work with the next generation. However, the leg-spinner has not given up yet and should be eyeing the 2017 PSL edition to present his case.
When he aired his opinion in public view, Chappell seemed to have the forgotten the oft-repeated saying – ‘What goes around comes around’. Even though one victory cannot erase Pakistan’s dire record down under, Australia’s poor showing in Asia has to carry the same relevance. Unfortunately, winning away from home is appearing to be more and more difficult as every season passes in the present era.
Shabash Pakistan, great captaincy and inns Hafeez, Well done JK, Malik, Did you watch Ian Chappell?— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 15, 2017