‘Afridi, not Sehwag, who changed the mindset of opening in Test’: Wasim Akram

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: March 30, 2020 8:19:42 pm

Wasim Akram took 414 Test wickets. (Source: File Photo)

Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram believes it was his countrymen Shahid Afridi and not Virender Sehwag who changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket.

In a YouTube chat with Afridi, the pacer said came much earlier that the Indian and considered him as one of the most destructive candidate in 1999-2000.

“In Test cricket, Sehwag came later but in 1999-2000 Shahid Afridi changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket.”

“Even if I was the bowler, I would know that I can get him out but also know that he can hit me for boundaries,” said Akram in a Youtube chat with Afridi. “He used to hit loose deliveries for sixes at will.”

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Akram further revealed that Afridi was not meant to be included in the squad traveling to India in the 1999-2000 series, in which Afridi left a mark in the Test circuit.

The Pakistani opener had then completed his maiden century in the first Test in Chennai, helping Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the series. Pakistan went on to win the contest 2-1.

“I called Imran Khan before the tour selection. I told him ‘skipper I want to take Shahid Afridi on tour but a few selectors were against it.

He told me ‘You should definitely take him, he will win a one-two Test matches and make him open the batting’,” said the former left-arm pacer.

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“I generally discussed a lot with Imran, sometimes before the tour, sometimes during the tour and his suggestions always came in handy,” he added.

“What a knock it was on that Chennai track. Afridi used to dance down the track and hit [Anil] Kumble and [Sunil] Joshi for sixes,” Akram said recalling the 141-run knock played by Afridi in the Chennai Test.

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Afridi, however, could not establish himself as a regular Test player as he managed to play just 27 Tests for Pakistan and scored just five hundreds.

Sehwag, on the other hand, represented India in 104 Test matches and scored 23 centuries, including two triple hundreds.

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