ISLAMABAD: Former Test opener Ramiz Raja says that Pakistan should learn from West Indies’ batting disaster against England in the second Test at Old Trafford, and plan accordingly for their upcoming series.
In a live interactive session with fans on his YouTube channel RamizSpeaks, the cricketer-turned commentator said Pakistan batsmen would have to learn the art of building their innings to post a decent total on the board against England.
“Just scoring half-centuries will not be enough. Even if three batsmen score fifties it will not do the job as this will not ensure a win. Anyone scoring a fifty will have to convert that into a hundred. This is very important,” Ramiz said.
Ramiz emphasised England had a strong bowling line-up, which devastated West Indies batting in the second Test by bowling short-pitched stuff.
He said the England pacers would employ the same tactic of bouncing Pakistan batsmen in order to get them out cheaply.
“Pakistan should learn from the West Indies disaster. I feel like West Indies, Pakistan batsmen will be attacked with the bouncers, hence they’ll have to be careful against these balls,” he insisted.
According to Ramiz, the real challenge for the Pakistan batsmen will be when they face English bowlers with the new ball.
“I’ve already stated that Pakistan should play three openers because the battle against England will be with the new ball. Imam-ul-Haq, who has experience should come at one-down position. If Pakistan succeed in controlling the fast bowling then they can win the contest,” he added.
He said Abid Ali was in form as he had been scoring runs but this time he would bat in difficult conditions.
According to Ramiz, the English bowlers would try to outgun him by bowling short balls.
“Abid does not play short balls well, hence he will have to take care of bouncers. The England bowlers will come with full homework and try to disturb his form.”
Ramiz said that there was a chance for the Pakistan batsmen during their practice matches to work on the ways they would be tested by England in the Test series.
“Pakistan should prepare themselves by keeping in mind how West Indies batsmen were handled by English pacers in the second Test. During the practice matches, it would have been better if Pakistan fast bowlers had bowled only short-pitched balls in a full session,” he remarked.
Ramiz also expressed the pleasure to see Pakistan batsmen scoring some big runs in practice matches.
“The good thing is that we have seen centuries [in practice matches]. It is also a positive sign that Haider Ali has scored a fifty.”
Ramiz said that Haider was a young player and he should be treated in a good way. “Haider is as talented as Babar Azam. He should be encouraged as if we find another Babar in the form of Haider it would be a great success for Pakistan. He should be taken along with the team the way [then captain] Imran Khan took Inzamam-ul-Haq and turned him into a hero from nobody.”
He reminisced that during the 1992 World Cup Imran used to tell Inzamam during team meetings that he could prove even bigger star than legendary Javed Miandad. “And he proved that by becoming a great star. I hope when Haider returns from the England tour, he will be a superstar because he has a lot of potential,” Ramiz said.
Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2020