Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Laxman needs to be more aggressive on the field: Afridi

KARACHI: Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Tuesday denied undermining the authority of VVS Laxman, his captain at Deccan Chargers, but maintained that the Indian lacks aggression.

The flamboyant all-rounder started a war of words with Laxman with his unflattering remarks that the Indian lacked both aggression and leadership qualities. Afridi also felt that Adam Gilchrist would have been a better skipper for the Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League.

Stung by Afridi's remarks, Laxman said the Pakistani lacked team ethics and criticised him for his outburst without any provocation.

Seeking to placate Laxman, Afridi said he was being misunderstood but maintained that Laxman was not aggressive enough.

"Perhaps what I said about the Chargers team on the television show has come out a bit too strong but my only point was that Laxman needs to be more aggressive on the field," Afridi said.

"There was neither any intention to demean Laxman's stature or contribution as a player and captain nor to create a controversy. I was asked a simple question and I answered it honestly," Afridi said.

Once again making it clear that he was less than impressed by Laxman's captaincy, Afridi said, "I still maintain that Laxman needs to be more aggressive on the field and push his players. In Twenty20 cricket the captain pushes and motivates the players it is such a short game. I just felt that Laxman should have played a bit more on the front foot instead of the back foot," Afridi said.

He also made it clear that it was his personal opinion that Gilchrist was a better captain.

"There is no question of me violating team ethics. I know I disappointed my fans, captain and management in the IPL and I aim to make amends in the next season. In fact I did say clearly that only Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma and Laxman had made some good contributions in the IPL but we didn't click as a team," said Afridi who himself was a big flop with the bat.