Perth, Feb.2 (ANI): It what clearly highlights fissures in the Pakistan cricket team and the lack of support for captain Mohammed Yousuf, all-rounder Shoaib Malik has appreciated the way Shahid Afridi led the squad in the fifth and last one-day international against Australia, saying the skipper should always lead by example on the field.
Malik spoke highly of Afridi's enthusiasm and exuberance on the field during the Perth ODI, which Pakistan lost by two wickets, but not before giving Australia a tough fight.
"Afridi utilised the players very well as captain. If a captain is energetic and enthusiastic, then his players also feel that energy and enthusiasm. You feel that buzz from the skipper and it boosts your own confidence," Malik told PakPassion.net
Afridi, who captained the side in the absence of regular skipper Mohammed Yousuf, brought Pakistan on the brink of winning its first game of the series, and Malik said it was all due to the stand-in captain's pep-up talk before the match.
"We were really fired up in the field after Shahid said to us to forget what had gone on in the tour previously and to just concentrate on the current match and to give our all, and that is what we all did," Malik said.
Malik, who didn't feature in the previous two matches, also performed well displaying his all-round capabilities.
He scored 36, which helped Pakistan reach a respectable after reeling at 16 for 3, and then taking the crucial wickets of Ponting and Voges in a tidy 10 over spell.
Malik also rebuked media reports which said that he had turned down the captain and team management's request to open the innings.
"The stories about my turning down an opportunity to open the innings are absolute rubbish. I have always been prepared to bat in whatever position I have been asked to," he said.
"The only concern I have raised regarding my batting posistion has been that wherever I am asked to bat, whether it's as an opener or in the middle order, I should be given a decent run in that position," Malik added. (ANI)