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Pakistan played Sri Lanka T20Is in fear: Raja

The cricketer-turned-commentator was baffled by the team’s performance

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan opener Ramiz Raja, through a Youtube video, stated that the Pakistan team had played the entire Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Sri Lanka in fear.

Ramiz claimed that Pakistan’s defeat at the hands of an eight-ranked Sri Lanka side, in the recently concluded T20I series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, was the product of their mistakes.

“Pakistan had to taste defeat once more, and because of their mistakes. If they took care of one part, which was the bowling attack, but you expect a quality batting line-up to chase down a target of 140,” Ramiz said. “It seems like they mentally break down, there is an obstacle in their heads which can’t be crossed. Pakistan played this entire series in fear.”

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The cricketer-turned-commentator was baffled by the team’s performance and stated that skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed had played on the number four position for selfish reasons.

“Maybe it’s because of the new management and the selection experiments. The captain was off colour and tried to play at number four to save his own place. I couldn’t understand that. The big strikers could not push on. There was no all-round strength,” he said. “Haris Sohail should have played in the first two matches.”

Raja also criticised the performance of young leg-spinner Shadab Khan and stated that the youngster had lost the ability to strike at key moments.

“Shadab was off colour as well. He takes wickets in the middle-overs and if he can’t do that than Pakistan will face problems. He has lost his wicket-taking form which has put pressure on the other bowlers,” he said.

The former cricketer claimed that the faulty selection policy along with problems in execution had killed the rhythm of a once dominant T20I side.

“There are a lot of questions over the selection. They have killed the rhythm that this T20I side had, with their selection policy and the execution bit,” he said. “The Pakistan team seemed to be rattled. Now they have very limited time for the next T20I series against Australia. The Aussies will not let Pakistan off the hook down under.”

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Ramiz criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) appointment of head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq and called for a different coach to handle the Pakistan team for the shortest format.

“Giving Misbah the responsibility of all three formats has put too much work for one person. Pakistan team needs a different coach for the T20’s. It’s still early days, the pressure is on, we will have to see how the Pakistan team tries to fight out of it,” he concluded.