Former Pakistan captain and renowned commentator Ramiz Raja has identified the biggest issue the Men in Green need to overcome before entering the two most anticipated cricket events, Asia Cup 2023 and ICC World Cup 2023.
The ex-cricketer believes Pakistan’s batters need to improve their skills to tackle spin bowling on Asian pitches.
It must be noted that the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the World Cup in India will both be played in spin-friendly conditions.
“Pakistan is facing issues against spin bowling and this is something they need to fix ahead of the Asia Cup and World Cup because they will be played in similar conditions,” Raja said on his YouTube channel.
“If we don’t resolve this issue, we will find it really hard to progress in a tournament.
“It seemed as if the Pakistan batters were like a rabbit that freezes when in front of a car’s headlights.”
Raja also said that the national team relies heavily on skipper Babar Azam, who was dismissed for a duck in the first ODI.
“The Pakistan team is heavily reliant on Babar Azam, be it Test cricket, ODIs or T20Is. He makes the headlines even when he is dismissed for a duck,” he said.
Pakistan won the first ODI on Tuesday in Hambantota by 142 runs after a five-wicket haul by pacer Haris Rauf.
The second match of the series will be played at the same venue tomorrow.
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Haris (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi.
Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Shahidullah, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Mohammad Saleem Safi and Wafadar Momand.