Pakistan left-arm pacer, Shaheen Afridi, has responded to concerns raised about a dip in his bowling speed following his row of injuries.
Despite the questions surrounding his pace, Afridi emphasized that taking wickets holds greater importance to him than sheer speed. The talented bowler expressed confidence that with time and with more game opportunities, he will continue to enhance his skills and regain his bowling speed.
“Everyone has a view about it [the pace], but I’ve been feeling good. You look at yourself, even if you are bowling 110kmph and taking wickets, you’re feeling good. I took wickets. I give 100% in the field, that matters more. Speed doesn’t matter as much but if there has been a dip, it will improve with time,” Afridi said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.
The 23-year-old acknowledged that his injury had impacted his bowling speed. Having suffered from the injury two months before the T20 World Cup in Australia and facing a recovery period of two to three months afterward, Afridi understands that it will take time for him to regain his previous level of performance.
“[I was injured] two months out before the [T20] World Cup, two-three months after the [T20] World Cup also. So it will of course take time to get back. That match energy or fitness, you only get it from playing matches. Since the PSL I’ve been feeling better, I got better through it and then played internationals for Pakistan as well. With time I’ll improve and the more I play the more I’ll improve,” he concluded.
Former Pakistan cricketer, Ramiz Raja, had expressed his concern over the decrease in bowling speed of Shaheen during the recently-concluded ODI series against New Zealand.
“Shaheen needs to increase his average speed of 136 and go up by a notch or two when he bowls forward. This is because on such pitches, you need to have a good understanding of your bowling, as you know that you will not get much sideways movement. Therefore, you need to develop a process through variations, change of pace, or sheer pace to be effective,” Raja had said.