Afridi: Unfair to criticise Misbah after a bad series

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Pakistan veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi has put his backing behind much-maligned skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, saying the calls for his resignation are premature, and that Misbah is vital to the team.

Pakistan veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi has put his backing behind much-maligned skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, saying the calls for his resignation are premature, and that Misbah is vital to the team.

The skipper had a dire series in Sri Lanka, failing to score a half century in eight innings on the tour across all formats, but Afridi feels Misbah is more often than not the guy expected to save the side in a collapse, and is vital to the side.

Afridi, who was the skipper before Misbah took over in 2011, insisted: "Misbah has been leading the side well since the last few years and he has also been our most prolific batsman. I think we all need to support him even if he has had one bad series.

"It is unfair to criticize him so much after just one bad series as captain and batsman. He has been a stable influence on the team and he needs support at this stage for the World Cup.

"I have no issues playing under Misbah's captaincy because he has been there for a while now and has been performing consistently since 2010. We depend on Misbah and few other seniors.

"But it is time the junior players also put up their hands and took responsibility to perform. If we play as a unit, I am sure we will start doing well again and I just want to see the team winning again before the World Cup."

While Afridi hasn't had particular issues with Misbah, he did with coach Waqar Younis, who was the coach in 2011 when Afridi was stripped of the captaincy. But he says they are on the same page these days, under Waqar's second reign.

Afridi added: "Waqar worked very hard with the team in Sri Lanka and the players got a lot of support from the team management even under pressure. There is lot of team spirit in this side and I am confident we can start winning again soon it is a matter of time.

"I enjoyed working with Waqar. He is a different person now and you can see the team management just wants the team to click and do well."

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