Shaheen Afridi Defends Bowling Pace Amid Concerns, Stresses Performance Over Speed

Shaheen workload

Pakistan’s celebrated left-arm fast bowler, Shaheen Afridi, recently addressed apprehensions regarding a noticeable decline in his bowling pace, a concern exacerbated by his recent sequence of injuries. 

Contrary to the focus on his velocity, Afridi underscored that his primary objective on the field is to secure wickets. He voiced his conviction that as he continues to play more games, his bowling skills and speed will naturally improve. 

“It’s common for everyone to share their opinions about the speed, but what truly matters to me is my performance. If I am taking wickets even while bowling at a lower pace, I am satisfied. Giving my all on the field is what counts. Though speed may not be the ultimate determinant, I believe any dip in it will improve over time,” Afridi shared in a conversation with ESPNCricinfo. 

At just 23, Shaheen Afridi candidly admitted that his injury had affected his pace. With the injury occurring two months prior to the T20 World Cup in Australia and recovery extending for a few months beyond that, the young bowler recognizes that returning to his former level of performance will require some patience. 

“Being injured before and after the T20 World Cup certainly took a toll on my performance. You can only regain match fitness by playing, and I am progressively feeling better since the PSL. With more games, I am confident that my performance will improve,” Afridi added. 

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Earlier, concerns about Afridi’s bowling pace were raised by former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja during the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand. Raja had stressed on the importance of increasing Afridi’s average bowling speed from 136, highlighting the need for effective strategies on less receptive pitches. 

In Raja’s words, “Shaheen Afridi needs to elevate his bowling speed, especially on pitches where sideways movement is minimal. It’s essential to have a profound understanding of your bowling and develop a strategy that includes variations, changes of pace, or simply bowling faster.” 

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