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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Legend's tips do the trick for Afridi and his team

 The tips Shahid Afridi got from former Pakistan greats seem to have worked wonders for his players who are preparing to face India in next week's high-voltage World Cup semifinal in Mohali.

Afridi, who has been praised by his teammates for seeking their advice, recently spoke to former captains Imran Khan and Wasim Akram about the team's campaign in the quadrennial extravaganza.

Imran confirmed that he had a talk with Afridi. "Yes, we discussed the team composition and batting order and some other issues. I gave him my advice, which I felt is best for the team, but at the end of the day he is there with the team and has to take the decisions," Imran said.

The cricketer-turned politician said that he had advised Afridi about playing Saeed Ajmal and shuffling the batting order to send Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq up the order. "But he has his reasons for some decisions," the former great added.

Imran has constantly been advising the Pakistan team to play positively and take bold decisions and not be afraid of defeat, a trait, he says, enabled him to lead Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title.

Afridi is also said to have spoken to another former great, Wasim Akram, and got valuable tips from him. Akram has also called for the Pakistan team to play an extra specialist bowler in the crunch matches.

Sources said that Imran had told Afridi to tell the players to be mentally prepared for the semifinal against India and not take any extra pressure.

"Imran believes that it will be India which will be under more pressure compared to Pakistan as they are playing in front of their home crowd and Pakistan have their best chance of beating them in the World Cup," the source said.
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