Raja sets challenge for 'talented' Babar

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that the right-hander can become a better batsman

Raja sets challenge for 'talented' Babar PHOTO: Youtube Screengrab/PCB

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has set an individual challenge for the Men in Green batsman Babar Azam, after the latter’s scintillating century against Sri Lanka in the second One-day International at the National Stadium in Karachi.  

Raja, who was part of the Pakistan’s triumphant 1992 World Cup campaign, believes that Azam needs to further improve his strike rate inorder to become a better batsman.

“Babar is a very talented batsman and keeps piling up runs,” said Raja while sharing his thoughts on his Youtube channel. “Although he played at a strike rate of more than 100 but he has ability to increase it even further to around 120 to 130. This is an individual challenge that he needs to set for himself inorder to become even a better batsman.”

ALSO READ: Babar ecstatic after maiden century on home soil

Raja also heaped praise on pacer Usman Shinwari, who claimed figures of 5-51, for playing a pivotal role in Pakistan’s victory.   

“Shinwari bowled really well because it is not easy to pick up five wickets on a dead pitch like the one in Karachi,” he said. “In South Africa, he was often guilty of losing his focus, especially in the spells following the initial burst, but that was not the case against Sri Lanka in the first ODI.”

Although the cricketer-turned-commentator was not satisfied with Pakistan’s approach and margin of victory.

“Most of us expected Pakistan to win but it was disappointing to see that we could not stamp our authority and register victory in a convincing manner,” he said. “There was little change in execution of plans and approach despite the change in management.”  

He added: “Against this weak Sri Lankan bowling attack, Pakistan should have stretched themselves and score atleast 350. Also we let them get away, in the second innings, despite the flurry of wickets upfront.”

The 67-run win on Monday gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the first ODI rained off in Karachi on Friday. The third and final match is also set for the same venue on Wednesday.