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Thread: Shahid Afridi...underated ?

  1. #1
    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Shahid Afridi...underated ?

    People raise doubts about him due to his non-existant footwork(not true really and i will explain why) and many write him off as a slogger.Others who are a bit more cognizant of Afridi's records write him off as a disaster waiting to happen as he eventually runs outta form.

    So why is Afridi so successful ?

    Well for one, footwork is misunderstood in cricket by many people and i might do well to point out that many successful players didnt have excellent 'ballet dancer' footwork- Viv Richards for one...he certainly was no leadfooted wonder but he wasnt a footwork mafia to the extent of a Dravid, Lara,Gavaskar or Greg Chappell.
    Steve Waugh had less than worldclass footwork and Gordon Greenidge wasnt known for his footwork either.... Afridi is probably the extreme case example and the impatient ones must be dying to pop the question 'why is he so successful ?'

    Well the reason is simple yet subtle.
    The question one must ask is, what is one trying to achieve with footwork and the answer immediately becomes clearer.

    As a test batsman, your objective is to be in control of your shots and put em where you want to. Failing to do that, you dont give your wicket away. Inorder to do that, you need to have a few crucial components aside from 'technique'. A big heart for one, judicious shot-selection for two and excellent timing for three.
    Anyone who's watched Afridi for a long period of time will admit that Afridi has all three by heaps. He has the guts required to bat at the highest level and he doesnt shy away from any bowler- not even the great Hoggard or Harmison. This is not a question about his success but a question about his attitude. Timing and shot selection of his are top notch too.
    But enough about the 'other stuff' !! Before the 'technique' mafia puts a gun to my head, i will go straight to the issue of technique.

    The biggest 'physical' thing you need to be accomplishing inorder to have control over your shots is to have excellent balance during point of contact. That is critical and essential.
    Afridi has this- he rarely reaches for the ball and rarely is he over/underbalanced for a shot. He accomplishes this by playing late and making deft wrist adjustments at the last second. And that he accomplishes extremely well due to his brilliantly quick eye. Afridi to me, seems to have one of the quickest eyes ever to play test cricket. He plays the ball very very late and is almost one of the 'latest' players of the ball.
    He plays the ball 'under his nose', that is, his point of contact is almost directly under his nose and that is the optimal place for controlling your shots. It also is a product of his superb eye and hand-eye co-ordination.

    Inorder to play the ball with great balance consistently, you absolutely must do one thing footwork-wise: you MUST get to the pitch of the ball. Afridi does this by plonking his left foot down and he guages the pitch of the ball excellently.

    Perhaps the second biggest physical thing to batting consistency is playing with a 'still head'. That is, your head must be as still as possible during the point of contact. And after watching Afridi for a while, i've come to the conclusion that his head is the stillest of them all playing cricket today- yes, even 'stiller' than Tendulkar, Dravid,Ponting,lara, etc.
    In the replays you will see a lil movement of the head sometimes amongst these great players. But with Afridi, almost always i see a head that is 'deadset still'.

    Some of the 'master technicians' of the past wernt too good at this aspect, leading to bouts of inconsistency. Carl Hooper and Rahul Dravid are two examples.

    As we are on the topic of technique, another thing i notice in Afridi is that he plays with an extremely straight bat and when he does go across the line, his bat angle is almost perpendicular to the trajectory of the ball. This is essential in 'technique' and is a forte of almost all the great batmsen.

    You see, all that is essential is your balance during point of contact. Most people achieve this through footwork- to get their body into position and perfect balance for the proper execution of the shot. Afridi however, completely eschews this modus operandi but achieves exactly the same results- he achieves perfect balance during point of contact with brilliant hand-eye coordination alongside a pair of one-in-a-million eyes.

    One more thing Afridi has is soft hands. I've seen him use 'soft hands' many times when he edges ball and as a result it often drops just a bit short of the slip cordon.

    That is the critical difference between Afridi and a 'pure slogger' like Sehwag... Sehwag doesnt play the ball under his nose and infact plays it earlier than many people. As a result, he is reaching for the ball and is often overbalanced during shot-execution. Another thing in a 'pure slogger' like Sehwag you'd find is that he doesnt know the concept of soft hands. He grips the bat like a vice and his wrists are almost never soft nomatter how he has hit the ball.
    Ofcourse, nevermind the fact that his shot-selection is one of the poorest.

    And this is why i think Afridi is likely to be of the greatest batsmen ever to play test cricket: he achieves everything balance-wise and poise-wise as a master technician achieves through excellent hand-eye coordination and brilliant eyes. Along with that, he does the other things right- shot selection, attitude, timing, etc

  2. #2
    State Vice-Captain BlackCap_Fan's Avatar
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    Firstly;

    He has the guts required to bat at the highest level and he doesnt shy away from any bowler- not even the great Hoggard or Harmison.


    And this is why i think Afridi is likely to be of the greatest batsmen ever to play test cricket: he achieves everything balance-wise and poise-wise as a master technician achieves through excellent hand-eye coordination and brilliant eyes. Along with that, he does the other things right- shot selection, attitude, timing, etc
    He's good, but 'of the greatest batsmen ever to play test cricket' is a bit much, don't you think? You're basically comparing him to Bradman, Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Richards, Hutton, Gavaskar, Miandad etc etc, and I wouldn't put him among them.
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    Tim
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    I want to see him play the way he does when he's in a pressure situation.

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    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Good one sledger, but Afridi still has alot to prove
    Mark Waugh
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    International 12th Man deeps's Avatar
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    umm in no matter what situation, he plays the same.

    He is good, very good, and under rated, but definately not the greatest test batsman ever.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    I hope you didn't really type that entire thing up. The payoff is so laughably disappointing.
    Sreesanth said, "Next ball he was beaten and I said, 'is this the King Charles Lara? Who is this impostor, moving around nervously? I should have kept my mouth shut for the next ball - mind you, it was a length ball - Lara just pulled it over the church beyond the boundary! He is a true legend."


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    International Vice-Captain 33/3from3.3's Avatar
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    anyone who can get 100 in 37 cant be bad can they
    can they?
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Mr Mxyzptlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33/3from3.3
    anyone who can get 100 in 37 cant be bad can they
    can they?
    Anyone who can average a tad under 100 an innings can't be "that worse" though.

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    U19 Cricketer Tony Blade's Avatar
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    Not anymore.
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    International Vice-Captain 33/3from3.3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mxyzptlk
    Anyone who can average a tad under 100 an innings can't be "that worse" though.
    i dont rate him anywhere near Bradman
    but he's great to watch for a bit of a laugh when in full slogging mode

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    Cricket Web Content Updater alternative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33/3from3.3
    i dont rate him anywhere near Bradman
    but he's great to watch for a bit of a laugh when in full slogging mode
    Comparing Afridi to Bradman, is a big insult...
    I think afridi is a good batsmen, but he is no where near the greatest test batsmen.. according to me, he produces some great entertainment..

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    School Boy/Girl Captain What-A-Player's Avatar
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    Shahid Afridi...underated ?
    Did you get Advance Parole from the Language Police out here

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    International Vice-Captain 33/3from3.3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alternative
    Comparing Afridi to Bradman, is a big insult...
    I think afridi is a good batsmen, but he is no where near the greatest test batsmen.. according to me, he produces some great entertainment..
    can you read???

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Content Updater alternative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33/3from3.3
    can you read???

    My mistake, i was not talkin about your statement.. i was just talking in general as a great batsmen..

    what i meant was, to classify afridi to a legend like Bradman or ViV Richards would have been an insult..

    and by the way i can read..

  15. #15
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah he's underrated, but I did think you exaggerated is ability a wee bit too much there

    Still, his test batting average is rising and rising. A big key indicator to whether his temperament and shot selection have improved that much will be how he goes in England. If he does well, then he's on his way to being a very good and dangerous test match batsman. He can somewhat resemble Gilly or Sehwag. However what those two have done is score runs against top quality opposition when their team has needed them to on varying conditions. It'll be interesting to see whether Afridi can do the same.
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