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“Anwar and Sohail used to beat Indian fast bowlers in caps,” Salman Butt reveals Shahid Afridi wanted to open only against India because India didn’t have pace

India now has got a lot of fast bowlers who can crank up speeds more than 140 kph, but it wasn't the case 15 years ago

The former Pakistan opener Salman Butt has said that Shahid Afridi used to open the batting mostly against pace attacks like India which didn’t have any express fast bowler 15 years ago, but in his peak days, Afridi was always very reluctant to open the batting against express pace attacks like South Africa and New Zealand.

Salman Butt was recently in an exclusive conversation with Cric bridge where he said that the players like Adam Gilchrist and Sanath Jayasuriya were also make-shift openers who were promoted by their respective teams to take the bowlers on in the first 15 overs of an ODI game, much like Afridi, but those players opened against all attacks and not against some particular attacks.

According to Butt, Shahid Afridi used to choose the attacks against whom he wanted to open and the state of the Indian fast bowlers, 15 years ago, was such that the Pakistani openers Aamer Sohail and Saeed Anwar used to beat them without wearing helmets because they were not fast at all.

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Now, India has got a lot of bowlers who can crank up good speeds and some can even cross 150 kph an hour, but that wasn’t the case back in the day when India mostly relied on medium pacers and spinners.

Shahid Afridi should have opened against all attacks: Salman Butt

Salman Butt said the kind of hitting ability Shahid Afridi had, he shouldn’t have chosen slightly slower bowling attacks to open the batting, he should have gone out and opened against all attacks. Even if the captain didn’t want him to do so, he should have asked the captain to give him that opportunity.

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Butt insisted that opening against an Indian bowling attack in those times when the batsmen used to bat against them wearing just caps and not helmets, was not that tough. Salman Butt himself opened the batting across all formats whenever he played for Pakistan, however, he was a specialist opening batsman and not an allrounder like Afridi.

 

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Abhishek

I write a bit on cricket and I am more interested in technical and tactical side of the game, rather than bravado.

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