The biggest decision the Pakistan Cricket Board made was to replace star batter Babar Azam as a T20I skipper with left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi. Shaheen might have been one of the best bowlers for Pakistan known for his ability to bowl quick and swing the ball both ways, but making him a skipper was still a surprising decision considering him still being really young and his workload management could be affected in the long run. However, Shaheen has still been successful even in the T20I setup as he has taken 73 wickets in 57 matches and was still a big ex-factor in the Pakistan pace attack.
Shaheen’s first series leading the Men in Green was far from being a great series as Pakistan lost their first 4 games in the 5 match T20I series vs New Zealand. All four of the matches were also one-sided victories where the Blackcaps absolutely dominated Pakistan in all four games winning by big margins. Shaheen was slightly expensive in some of the games but still did his job with the ball being the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan in the series taking 9 wickets in the 5 matches he has played, proving himself as the world-class bowler he is.
Fifth T20I is the first taste of victory for Afridi
Without a doubt, Pakistan were nowhere close to winning the series after losing 4 matches on the trot, but Shaheen Afridi will be happy that his men could avoid a whitewash in the end by winning the fifth and final T20I at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Pakistan had chosen to bat first and were restricted to 134 by the Kiwi bowlers and it looked like a clean sweep for the hosts once again. However in a shocking turn of events New Zealand folded for just 92 runs with Iftikhar Ahmed bowling one of his best spells in the game making it difficult for the otherwise powerful New Zealand batters.
This is also the first victory as captain for Shaheen Afridi which will give him a lot of confidence going forward. This is one gold moment for the 23-year-old captain in what was a very disappointing series for his side. He will be hoping that he will get some more great games like this and earn more success as Pakistan’s T20I skipper and lead fast bowler. Shaheen has a lot of big shoes to fill and he will want to make the most out of any opportunity he gets and prove himself as a great leader in the Pakistan setup.
Here’s how the fans have reacted-
Shaheen Afridi wins his first match as Pakistan captain! Pakistan finally get off the mark 🇵🇰🔥 #NZvsPA— Zuhair (@zuh_dxb) January 21, 2024
Finally some happy moment for Padosi mulk— Andleeb Akhtar🇮🇳 (@mr_akhtar17) January 21, 2024
Congratulations 🦅— Fahim Mughal 19 (@_fahim19) January 21, 2024
Lekin series tu warr gyi— Mr babarian|BA56🇵🇰 (@PatternMister) January 21, 2024
Rare win for Pakistan— Kirkett (@bhaskar_sanu08) January 21, 2024
Whitewash Averted.— Nirmal Roy (@nroy11) January 21, 2024
What a spell 🔥🔥 Shaheen 🔥— 𝚂𝚊𝚔𝚒 (@ItxSaki) January 21, 2024
Finally something— Sameer K. (@Sameer_knl18) January 21, 2024