After Afghanistan thrashed Pakistan by 2 wickets, a couple of nights ago, former cricketer Ramiz Raja says that some hard calls will have to be taken if the Men in Green fail to make it to semis.
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman and the winner of the 1992 World Cup Ramiz Raja has shown no mercy to the current skipper Babar Azam after the Green Shirts displayed one of the poorest performances from the team in the recent years across format. In the Cricket World Cup 2023 clash, Afghanistan thrashed Pakistan by 8 wickets to register their second win of the tournament. Babar had disappointment written all over his face after the end of the match as he admitted that the team is not clicking in all the three departments.
Speaking over his YouTube channel, Ramiz said that Babar needs to improve tactically and that there is a lot of problems currently for Pakistan to solve. “Pakistan have a lot of problems to deal with. Babar Azam needs to improve a lot tactically. Hasan Ali was getting the ball to reverse towards the back end of the innings. The equation was run-a-ball at that stage. Pakistan needed wickets, and Hasan Ali looked very close to getting a dismissal. What was the need to bowl a spinner from the other end?,” Ramiz said.
Ramiz said that losing to Afghanistan is ‘a massive disaster’ for the Pakistani team, adding that they have never dealt with something like this. “Losing to Afghanistan will hurt badly. The disappointment was writ large on Babar Azam’s face when I interviewed him… Pakistan have never dealt with a surprising defeat like this one before,” Ramiz added.
The former World Cup champion feels that time has come to take big decisions at the conclusion of the World Cup. Ramiz advises PCB to ‘alter the DNA of the team’.
“After this World Cup, there has to be a serious discussion about altering the DNA of this team. They need a complete overhaul in terms of mindset, approach, new talent, and new ideas. We need to improve on each and every aspect. Pakistan have hit rock bottom. Babar Azam needs to step up and prove himself as a leader amid all this,” Ramiz concluded.
After three back-to-back losses to India, Australia and Afghanistan, Pakistan can still qualify for the the semifinals but the road is tough. They now meet South Africa and next matches are against New Zealand, England and Bangladesh. With their confidence down, it will be a huge challenge for Babar Azam and Co to beat these four teams to ensure they are in hunt for a spot in the last four.