KARACHI  - Dashing Pakistan opener Imran Nazir has advised all-rounder Shahid Afridi to take a break from international cricket to recover his confidence and form.

"There is no doubt that Shahid bhai is going through a bad patch and his luck is also not good. I have not seen such a long bad patch for any player," Nazir said.

Afridi was recently dropped by the national selectors for the one-day series in India. They were hopes that if he performed well in the two T20 matches he would be retained for the one-day series as well but after a sluggish performance in both games he returned home luckless on Saturday.

The former Pakistan captain has been going through a rough patch in batting and bowling in recent months and the biggest debate in Pakistani cricket circles is now about his future as an international player.

"I have no doubt that Shahid bhai can still play for a couple of years but right now I would say he needs to take a break," Nazir, himself dropped from the national team after the T20 World Cup, said. "I think he is taking too much pressure on himself and it is not helping his confidence. He should take a break from the game, work on his basics and come back fresh for a new stint," Nazir told a TV channel.

"I think Pakistan definitely needs him but not in this form. His energy and enthusiasm is important for the team and he needs to get it back," Nazir said. Pakistan's experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq also backed Afridi, insisting that he should have been retained for the one-day series. Razzaq, who was also dropped for the T20 and ODI series against India, said that Afridi's experience was still invaluable to the team and he needed to be given some confidence.