Afridi will be the trump card for Pak

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer intends to use the flamboyant Shahid Afridi strategically in the matches against India and Australia.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer intends to use the flamboyant Shahid Afridi strategically in the matches against India and Australia in the cricket tri-series beginning on Sunday. "Afridi knows about his role and he, along with Salman Butt have been told clearly what their roles are going to be," said Woolmer. Afridi has a splendid record against India and is one of the most powerful hitters in world cricket -- a fact which would come handy on a short VRA ground in coming days. Bowling attack Woolmer, a master tactician, sees an important role for Afridi, given the fact India has a pace bowling attack which pitches the ball up, an advantage otherwise but which could be a handicap on short boundaries of VRA ground. Irfan Pathan, Laxmipathy Balaji and Ajit Agarkar all like to pitch the ball up. It could make the ball disappear faster in the trees lining the straight boundaries of the ground. The coach also intends to send the 12th man with a walkie-talkie on the field from now on. "It is important there is a two-way communication between the coach and the players. I intend to use the walkie-talkie through the 12th man from this tournament," he said. Testing grounds Woolmer said he would be able to make a better assessment of his team after the engagements in the next two months, which includes the Champions Trophy to be played in England from September 10 to 25. "Both this tournament as well as in England are testing grounds for us. I would know better once these events are over how to assess my team. "Our two opponents are good sides. It will allow me as well as the players to know about their ability and what is required," said the Englishman. Woolmer is not at all disheartened by the fact his team did not make it to the finals of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka last month. "We won four out of five games which was a good showing. We intend to build on that performance." "The boys must learn to handle pressure and we would know the evidence of it in the coming days. Essentially, both these tournaments (the tri-series and Champions Trophy) are knock-out in nature and there is no coming back. It is a pressure and a good way to know how players are able to handle pressure," he said. (PTI)

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