It took Shahid Afridi almost a year to realise that he was no longer needed by Pakistan even in T20s, the format in which he truly excelled
It took Shahid Afridi almost a year to realise that he was no longer needed by Pakistan even in T20s, the format in which he truly excelled. He played his last T20I in March last year against Australia in World T20 when Pakistan exited the biannual event with only one win out of four matches.
Afridi remained a utility player for about 20 years. He came into limelight with his record-setting century in Nairobi. But in the very next match he told the world he could do well with the leather as well. And his whole career followed this pattern. He continued to do well enough to remain in the team, sometimes with the bat and sometimes with the ball, and occasionally with both. His fans had a rollercoaster ride for nearly 20 years. He cheered up his fans as often as he disappointed them. Despite his many failures he remained the heartthrob of the nation.
Interestingly, he was considered a mere limited overs cricketer throughout his career although he batted well in Tests much more often than he did in ODIs or T20Is. He scored only six centuries in 398 ODIs, but in only 27 Tests he struck five tons.
His first truly great all-round performance came in the first final of Carlton and United Series in early 1997 when he took three wickets against West Indies (his victims included Brian Lara) and then scored 53.
Here we have a look at his best all-round performances.
Tests: A century (141) and three wickets against India in Chennai. 74 and 34, five wickets against Sri Lanka in March 2000. 29 and 59, three wickets against India in Kolkata in March 2005. 16 and 122, three wickets against West Indies in Bridgetown in May 2005. 33 and 43, three wickets against West Indies in Kingston in June 2005. 92, four wickets against England in Faisalabad in November 2005.
ODIs: 41 runs, three wickets vs England in Sharjah in April 1999. 41, three wickets vs India in Perth in January 2000. 61, five wickets vs England in Lahore in October 2000. 80, two wickets vs India in Rawalpindi in March 2004. 44, two wickets vs India in Delhi in April 2005. 77 not out, three wickets vs South Africa in Durban in February 2007. 24, six wickets vs Australia in Dubai in April 2009. 70, two wickets vs New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in November 2009. 75, five wickets vs Sri Lanka in Sharjah in November 2011. 76, seven wickets vs West Indies in Providence in July 2013. 55, three wickets vs New Zealand in Sharjah in December 2014.
T20Is: 51, two wickets vs South Africa in Nottingham in June 2009. 52 not out, two wickets vs Sri Lanka in June 2012. 13 not out, three wickets vs South Africa in Cape Town in November 2013. 29, two wickets vs England in Sharjah in November 2015. 23, two wickets vs New Zealand in Auckland in January 2016.