Kamran may open innings against Australia: Afridi

Karachi:  Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has indicated that blundering wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal may open the innings in place of Ahmed Shahzad in the team’s last league match of the ICC Cricket World Cup against Australia on Saturday.

Young Ahmed Shahzad has been off-colour in the prestigious event so far, according to a report published on the website of an international sports channel on Wednesday.

“Ahmed is a talented kid but he has not really learnt from his mistakes. We have been showing faith in his abilities but Ahmed Shahzad has failed to give us a single good start and now we are thinking about going into the match against Australia with a new opening pair,” Afridi said.

The flamboyant player further said that the best replacement of Ahmed Shahzad seemed to be the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who has played as an opener with some success in the past.

Ahmed Shahzad couldn’t fulfill his pre-World Cup promise, failing for the fifth time in the tournament when he scored just eight runs in Pakistan’s penultimate Group A match against Zimbabwe on Monday.

Coach Waqar Younis was not pleased either with the way Ahmed threw his wicket away against the African side in an attempt to hit the ball out of the ground.

“It was a rash shot from Shahzad. It wasn’t really required at the time. But don’t forget he is a youngster, he is only 21 and brand new in this arena,” Pakistan coach commented.