Malik needs to be demanding and tough with his boys: Afridi

Lahore, Nov 28 (UNI) Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi might not be featuring in the ongoing Test series against India, yet the discarded all-rounder has some piece of advice for his captain Shoaib Malik, saying a comeback in the series is possible only if the skipper gets more demanding and tough with his players.

''If a player is not performing to his optimum level, the captain must be tough and demand more. I think our team was in a position to win the first Test,'' Afridi told 'The Dawn'.

After the 2-3 loss against India in the recently concluded one-day series, Afridi was excluded from the Test side and sent back home because of his poor form.

The 27-year-old flamboyant all-rounder also believes that Pakistan middle-order batting's failure in the second innings after a solid start by the openers resulted in the loss at the Kotla.

''The batting didn't go all the way after a good start. I have no doubt if we had got another 80 to 100 runs, we could have won this Test match,'' said the compulsive strokemaker.

Interestingly, Afridi rejected all questions raised about the Feroz Shah Kotal Kotla pitch, stating it (the pitch) was a good test wicket and with a little bit of application, Shoaib's men could have changed the script of the match.

Though he was dissaponted with the result of the first Test, he was hopeful for a fightback from Pakistan.

''We were in a position to win the match which was very close.

It was disappointing to lose out in the end. I am sure the rest of the team will be eager to make a comeback in the second Test in Kolkata.

Afridi also lauded comeback man Shaoib Akhtar for his tiger hearted effort during the first Test, but was critical of other bowlers of the team, saying, ''The other bowlers also need to give more support to Shoaib Akhtar.'' UNI XC RAR SSC BST1125

Story first published: Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 16:03 [IST]
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