Karachi, Dec 20: Former Pakistani spinner Abdul Qadir has revealed that he was the man behind the turnaround in ODI and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi's fortunes and abilities.
Qadir said that when Afridi's bowling was suffering a lean patch during early 2009, he had visited the all-rounder at one of the local camps.
"I spoke to him privately and told him that I would give him a gift that would bring him five wickets against the Australians in the next ODI series to be played in the UAE," PakPassion.net quoted Qadir, as saying.
"I taught him how to bowl a googly in a way that complements his characteristic bowling action and gave him tips on field placements and on bowling certain lines and lengths in order to outwit the batsmen."
"I also advised him to envisage he was playing a Test match rather than another limited overs game," he added.
The tips appeared to have benefited Afridi, who went on to exceed Qadir's expectations by achieving career best figures of 6-38 in the very first ODI against Australia, and finished as the leading wicket taker of the series.
Afridi continued following Qadir's guidelines thereafter, as was evident from his performance in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, where he showcased great variety and immense control, continually flummoxing the batsmen with his googlies.
He finished the tournament with 11 wickets at an impressive average of 13.54.