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Ramiz Raja offers solution to Qalandars’ captaincy woes

Cricketer-turned-commentator questioned the tactics of Sohail Akhtar

PHOTO: Reuters

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja is disappointed with the Lahore Qalandars’ performance under the leadership of Sohail Akhtar.

While talking in a YouTube video, after Qalandars’ demoralising defeat at the hands of Islamabad United on Wednesday, Raja said that Akhtar needs to follow in Shadab Khan’s footsteps if he wants to improve his credentials as a captain.  

“He [Sohail Akhtar] bats lower down the order and is unable to score runs, which is also affecting his confidence,” said Raja. “He should follow in Shadab Khan’s footsteps and promote himself in the batting order rather than coming to bat at a stage when slogging is the only option. Shadab has excelled batting higher up the order and it has given him a lot of confidence. Once Sohail starts scoring runs, his captaincy will also improve and it will take pressure off him.”

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The cricketer-turned-commentator also questioned Akhtar’s tactics on the field and the ability to effectively communicate with foreign players in the Qalandars’ squad.   

“Sohail should have made Hafeez bowl against Munro instead of Samit Patel in the initial overs because of his proven track record against left-handers,” he said. “He [Sohail] clearly lacks confidence at the moment. Also I think there is a language barrier as well which is stopping him from effectively communicating his strategy to the foreign players in the squad.”

 “It’s about time that Qalandars take a decision on whether to continue Sohail as captain or not because he does not seem equipped to lead an international dugout at the moment,” he added.

Colin Munro’s unbeaten 87 helped Islamabad United beat Lahore Qalandars by 71 runs on Wednesday, which is the biggest victory margin, in terms of runs, in the history of HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL). The previous biggest winning margin was 67 runs achieved by Quetta Gladiators against Karachi Kings in 2018.