Can never win with two 38-year-olds in the side: Raja

Former Pakistan captain believes that a total revamp of Pakistan cricket is the need of the hour

Can never win with two 38-year-olds in the side: Raja PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan Captain Ramiz Raja blamed the inclusion of senior all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez for Pakistan’s lacklustre display in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

In a video on his youtube channel ‘Ramiz speaks’, Raja called for the introduction of new talent after Pakistan’s defeat to India in the World Cup fixture on Sunday at Old Trafford.

“The time has come for a complete revamp of Pakistan cricket team, because our World Cup ends when we lose to India, and the way we lost to them it was a no show and it seems that Pakistan was not in the contest,” said Raja. “I always knew we could never win a tournament with two 38-year-olds in the side. It is high time we introduce new talent in the team.”

The 56-year-old also believed that the skill level of Pakistan’s main batsmen have regressed in the last couple of years.

“What’s the use of Babar Azam’s talent, if he could not win us matches and what’s the use of Fakhar Zaman at the opening slot if he could not play like Rohit Sharma and that was the difference between India and Pakistan,” he said. “Pakistan had five years to prepare for the World Cup. There is no difference in skills in these five years. No execution or game plan could be formulated. They couldn’t even find batsmen in these five years.”

The former Pakistan opener believed that every loss was an opportunity to bring about positive change and that a total revamp of Pakistan cricket was the need of the hour.

“After every loss there is a need for introspection, there is an opportunity, there is a need for change, and now is the time for a complete revamp of Pakistan cricket,” he said.

Raja was adamant that fast-bowler Hasan Ali needed to be rested for the remainder of the tournament and was of the opinion that Pacer Mohammad Amir was the lone fighter in the game against India.

“Hasan Ali needs to be rested immediately; you cannot play him with this inconsistency. He was the most expensive bowler for Pakistan. Wahab [Riaz] couldn’t even bowl one Yorker,” he said. “Except Amir, no bowler seemed to trouble Indian batsmen. He kept fighting alone from one end. No support from the other end. The fielders also gave away too many runs in the field.”

Raja believed that Pakistan’s World Cup campaign in almost over because of their miserable performance in the early part of the tournament.

“Pakistan’s World Cup campaign is almost over. Their net run-rate is the lowest. Only Afghanistan is below them. Even if they win their remaining matches the chances of Pakistan advancing are very slim,” he concluded.