Virender Sehwag, the one to whom bowlers threatened to bowl, because of his attacking instincts from the start of the match. Sehwag struck 83 when he started batting in Tests. Even in today’s world, no batsman or opener has such a strike rate when starting to bat.
Many cricketers and experts believe that Sehwag has revolutionized the way batting starts in Tests. But former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram thinks otherwise.
During a chat show on YouTube where Wasim Akram was interviewing Shahid Afridi, former Pakistan captain Akram revealed that he thinks Afridi has changed the opening batting in Tests. According to Akram, before Sehwag, Shahid Afridi changed the way openers batted in Tests. Of course, the Delhi batsman started his Tests in 2002, but Afridi already opened the innings for Pakistan for the first time in 1998.
Virender Sehwag came later, says Wasim Akram
“In Test cricket, Sehwag followed, but in 1999-2000 Shahid Afridi changed the first mentality in Test cricket. I know I can get him out even though I am a bowler, but he can also hit me for boundaries. Said the bowler.
During his tour of Pakistan in early 1999, Shahid Afridi made his Test debut. In the Chennai Test, Afridi scored 141 off 191 balls in the second innings. In that innings, Pakistan scored just 286, and Afridi scored half.
Pakistan won the historic encounter by just 12 runs behind Afridi’s bat. “It’s the same on the Chennai track. Afridi can dance down the track and hit Kumble and Joshi with sixes,” said Akram.
Wasim Akram was the captain of the then national team. He recalled how the selectors did not pick Afridi before the trip. However, Akram decided to talk to former captain Imran Khan, who suggested that he go with Afridi.
“I called Imran Khan before the tour selection. I would like to take Captain Shahid Afridi on tour with him, but some selectors are against it. He said to me, ‘You should take him. He wins 1-2 Tests and opens the batting. “I usually have a lot of discussions with Imran, sometimes before the tour, sometimes during the tour, and his instructions are always easy,” Akram said.
Shahid Afridi has not played much Test matches as he has only 29 Tests to boast of his career. The all-rounder made 398 ODIs and 99 T20s for Pakistan.