Afridi is an underrated odi player in some ways (especially his bowling which was always overshadowed by a couple of freak innings with the bat across all forms) but he isn't walking into many test teams from the past 30 years. Let's keep a little grounded in reality here.
No he doesn't. Wouldn't have him as number one spinner in any reasonable strength team as that's not a role he's ever taken on because he's not that good.
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Afridi as test spinner? Hmm, let's see.
He would not walk in to any SC team as the spinner, even struggle as the 2nd spinner
80s & 90s
England over Giles, Salisbury, Emburey et al - definietly yes.
West Indies - Definitely yes over Roger Harper, and being a better batsman and Murray, especially against spin. Sunil Narine is the only exception who may become better than Afridi.
90s to present
South Africa since re admission- Hell yeah over Clive Eksteen, Niky Boje, Pat Symcox or Paul Harris or even John Traicos before re admission.
New Zealand - Easily better spinner than Dipak Patel, Mathew Hart, Mark Haslem and as good as Vettori
Australia - Probably after their fall,as good as Lyon, definitely better than host of wrist spinners they produces
Zimbabwe- Would be their best player at current. Better than P. Strang and A. Whitall. Par with Price if not better.
6/9 sides would love to had him as their spinner at various points in their history. His statement has merit.
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In the 80s sides, he would walk into Indian team as a spinner in the 85-90 span, when Doshi retired and his place was taken by the likes of Hirwani, Shivaramakrishnan, etc. He'd walk into the Kiwi side when they'd play in the subcontinent ( Kiwis have no reason to go for a spinner in home conditions in the 80s) and he'd definitely walk into the Aussie side for stretches of the 80s as their primary spinner too.
I am not talking about waking into the best possible teams of the 80s or 90s and Afridi getting selected or not, i am talking about the teams that actually took the field and in terms of those rosters, there definitely are times when Afridi the test spinner makes it to many a side.
Shane Watson. Occasionally good for slogging a few runs and bowls some tidy medium pace.
In tests perhaps Watto has a case in this thread. But in limited overs contest, he is an absolute beast with the bat, so i dont think he qualifies for those formats.
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