Former Pakistan opener Ramiz Raja joined the chorus and tore into the hopeless performance of the Pakistani cricket team in the first two encounters of the three-match ODI series against England. Pakistan were routed for 141 at Cardiff and dismissed for 195 going down by 52 runs at Lord’s. The shocking performance of the Pakistan top and middle order has met with widespread criticism and Raja did not mince his words as he lambasted the poor display of the team.
Pakistan’s terrible show in the first two matches meant that they have already lost the three-match series against what could best be described as an England ‘C’ team. Raja rated the performance of the team as one of the worst in their recent history.
“If you map this series defeat on the Richter scale, the value of shock will clock fifteen. It’s a massive blow and I don’t understand how one can defend it. It’s England’s No.2 team, in terms of talent,” quoted Raja.
England were playing with a make-shift XI as several members of their main unit and support staff tested positive for Covid-19 which meant that the entire contingent had to go into isolation. Raja reiterated this point and added that with the exception of Ben Stokes none of the other members of the England playing XI would make it to their first XI.
“If you take out Ben Stokes, not a single player of the team that defeated Pakistan would get selected in England’s regular team in the near future. We are talking about a glorified county team that has beaten Pakistan. People underestimated them and hoped for an ODI series win in England. But look how the tables have turned that now Pakistan are under the threat of a whitewash."
Raja said that such a shocking performance cannot be defended especially in the year of the World T20.
“The performance isn’t defendable. If the alarm bells don’t ring now, I don’t know when they will. It’s a World Cup year, though it’s a T20 World Cup, and such headlines are unbearable for Pakistan fans,” he added.
Raja was also not happy with the team selection and stated that the team is losing its fan base with such poor performances.
“You saw their sad faces at Lord’s. They take pride in Pakistan cricket but we have lost their love and strength. Their attendance in England, Australia and even in South Africa are decreasing because their expectations are dying," said the former Pakistani opener.
“How much more time should be given to the coaches before their performance is judged? Extremely awful selection. Some overrated players keep on playing for Pakistan."
Raja said that the time had come to take tough calls and make big sweeping changes to the team.
“I don’t understand how to back this team. We expect them to improve in some areas and learn from their mistakes. But enough is enough. Fans are heartbroken and they have a chance to make big changes in the team otherwise it would be a tough season," exclaimed Raja.
“Once again, an utterly distasteful performance from Pakistan who lost against a No.2 England team,” concluded Raja and signed off.