Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has lambasted the national team’s poor performance against India and said that its time to completely revamp Pakistan cricket.
“I believe it is the right time [to revamp] as I think Pakistan’s World Cup campaign has almost ended because their net run rate is below from all other teams except Afghanistan,” Raja said speaking after Pakistan’s defeat to India on Sunday.
“It is very difficult for them to be among top four even if they win their all remaining fixtures,” he added.
Raja added, “Every defeat is followed by introspection and opportunity. Every defeat needs change. I feel that time has come when Pakistan cricket should be completely revamped. Your World Cup ends when you lose to India. And if you lose after such a no-show, then your fans will be angry with. Your system, captaincy and skills will be challenged.”
“When you will not learn from your mistakes then there will be frustration,” he added.
Raja was of the view that Pakistan would have to expel some old players and bring new players in the team. “This should have been done much earlier as I believe with two [players] of 38 [year-old] you can never win the World Cup.”
He added that the skill level of Pakistan players has gone down during the past two years.
“It has been promised that the tag of unpredictability would be removed but that tag has become more prominent now. The win against England was an anomaly. In fact, they should have conceded defeat in every match,” he added.
“A team gets five years to prepare for the World Cup and become competitive. But during these five years, there has been no difference in skills. During these five years, the execution has also not been corrected and no game plan made,” he reckoned.
The former cricketer was of the view that Sarfaraz Ahmed who was a number six or seven batsmen was batting at number five, which showed that there was a problem and Pakistan, unfortunately, had remained unable to produce batsmen during the past five years.
“What is the benefit of Babar Azam’s talent if he will not lead the team to win? What is the benefit of Fakhar Zaman to play at the opening slot if he can’t play like Rohit Sharma? The difference between the two teams was that when Indian batsmen became set, they pulled their batting till the end,” he asserted.
He added that in a pressure match against arch-rivals, Pakistan decided to bowl first after winning the toss. Raja said there was also a question mark to go with two spinners against India who were known to play havoc with the spin.
Raja further said, Hassan Ali was not bowling at the right length and hence should be given rest as you cannot play him with such consistency. “He has been the most expensive bowler for Pakistan in all World Cups now. Similarly, Wahab Riaz was also unable to bowl even a single yorker [against India].”
“Barring Mohammad Amir you don’t have a bowler, who can create problems for Indian batting. He [Amir] was the only bowler who has been fighting from the one end,” he added.
The commentator also criticised Pakistan players for covering their hands with bondages during the field. “You are so soft. In a match where should have tried your level best as fans expect from you.”
“India had created a lot of difference as skill-wise their players were at the top, while Pakistan’s were at the bottom. Unless Pakistani players’ minds matched their skills they would not be able to defeat India,” he added.