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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Shoaib Akhtar not ready for Test return: Afridi

Shoaib Akhtar not ready for Test return: Afridi

June 20, 2010 17:31 IST

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi does not think fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is ready for a comeback to Test cricket.

Afridi said in his Captain's Corner show on Geo television after the Asia Cup defeat to India that he didn't think Shoaib could play Tests.

"I don't think he is ready despite his comeback in this tournament. I think his fitness will be tested in Test matches," Afridi said.

Pakistani selectors are due to announce on Sunday the touring squad for the limited over matches and Test matches in England.

Shoaib AkhtarShoaib played his first international matches in 14 months time in the Asia Cup, taking three against Sri Lanka and going wicketless against India.

He looked to be struggling with his match fitness.

Afridi said the good news that Umar Gul was fit again and would be available for the tour to England.

Afridi said he was disappointed at the two close defeats in the tournament to Sri Lanka and India.

"We should have won both matches particularly the one against India. The total of 267 was such that I always felt that our bowling could defend it properly. But we missed vital chances and our fielding was not up to the mark," Afridi said.

"I know I am smiling right now but inside it is very disappointing the way we lost to India after having the match in our grip," he said.

Afridi said that he had not made a mistake by giving Mohammad Aamer the final over against India.

"It was a calculated decision, unfortunately things didn't go our way. I thought (Gautam) Gambhir, (MS) Dhoni and (Suresh) Raina all played great knocks in pressure circumstances," he said.

Afridi said he had told his team mates that there would be no place for those who didn't perform consistently.

"This is the national team and we all know we are professionals and expected to perform. If a player is not performing, no matter who he is he will be out," Afridi said.

The Pakistan skipper said that he or the coach could only advise and guide the players but not play for them.

"Everyone is in the team because he deserves to be there but it is his responsibility to ensure he stays there with his performances," he said. Afridi said he was satisfied with the attitude of senior player and former captain Shoaib Malik which he said had improved a lot.

"I am happy because the boys did support me a lot and we showed unity. We lost both matches but they were close ones and we need to sort out this issue of not being able to finish off matches successfully," he said.

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