File Photos: Pakistan cricket team in action against Zimbabwe (left) and Ramiz Raja.(HT Collage)
File Photos: Pakistan cricket team in action against Zimbabwe (left) and Ramiz Raja.(HT Collage)

'Sachin, Dhoni were useful at their 50%, we don't have that calibre': Raja slams Pak's reluctance of testing new players

  • Former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja has voiced strong opinions on the cricket system in Pakistan and called the board and management out for their reluctance to try out new players.
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2021 07:33 AM IST

Former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja has voiced strong opinions on the cricket system in Pakistan and called the board and management out for their reluctance to try out new players and give more chances to youngsters.

Ramiz's comments come after Pakistan's of Zimbabwe. Before registering a 2-0 clean sweep in Tests, the South Asian side played a three-match T20I series and emerged victorious 2-1. Raja, as quoted while speaking on a YouTube channel called 'The Indian News', said the team should have travelled with new players, and even if they lost, they would have learned something from the experience.

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"Even if you lose with new players in the side, there is at least a silver lining that you figure out players are capable and those who aren't. You move on and test another player. With old players, who already who know what their value addition (to the team) is," said Ramiz.

The 58-year-old stated that senior and aged players don't really feature in T20Is for a reason. "As far my understanding goes, I haven't seen a 40-45-year-old player in T20s on the international platform. It makes sense because your reflexes slow down and even if you were a world-class player, your performance drops to 50 percent," Ramiz explained.

It's time to move on and give chances to youngsters, is basically Ramiz's point. He remarked that there is little use of calling back older players because they aren't of the same caliber as MS Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar.

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"We don't have players of that caliber. For example, MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, despite being at their 50%, were still very useful. This just reinforces the fear we have about losing matches. For the sake of winning, we are destroying the system," Ramiz opined.

The cricketer-turned-commentator further noted that the Zimbabwe tour was an ideal time to experiment for Pakistan cricket and yet, they missed out on the opportunity.

"Move on with new players. It will at least give you a sense of direction. Against Zimbabwe, if you had gone with new players and lost, nobody would have said anything because it could have been an experimental tour. There are very few occasions where you can experiment against an international team. Like I have said earlier, they take one step forward and two steps backward," commented Ramiz.

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He finally observed that because of their tendency to make poor decisions under pressure, the youngster and newcomers are still a long way behind.

"When the pressure increases, call back the old players. When the pressure increases, call back the fixers. when the pressure increases, you play an extra wicketkeeper as a middle-order batsman. That's now how teams are built. It just goes to show the state of our system wherein the new players are a long way behind," added Ramiz.

57 Tests and 198 ODIs for his country and was a part of Pakistan' 1992 World Cup-winning squad.

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