“This Phobia Must End…”: Ex-PCB Chief’s Blunt Assessment Of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 7 min read

File photo of Virat Kohli (left) and Rohit Sharma.© AFP

Pakistani cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja has backed the duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as the openers of the national team. Reacting to Shahid Afridi’s opinion of Fakhar Zaman opening for Pakistan instead of Babar in T20Is, Raja said that the Babar-Rizwan duo might not give a strike rate of Rohit Sharma-Virat Kohli but they provide “solidity” to the team. While Babar and Rizwan have provided solid starts to Pakistan, their strike rate has come under scanner, quite a lot.

“Looking at what Pakistan have got, you cannot afford to start by losing wickets. They (Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan) may not give you a strike rate of a Rohit (Sharma) or a Virat (Kohli), but, you know, at least they give you solidity. And this Pakistan team, with the kind of batting lineup that they’ve got, they’ve got to play within what they have got. So it’s important that they start off with Babar and Rizwan because it takes years to establish an opening partnership and pair,” Ramiz Raja told Cricbuzz.

With the opening combination of Babar and Rizwan, Pakistan made it to the final of T20 World Cup 2022, where they lost to England by 5 wickets.

“And there’s a reason why Pakistan made it to the final of the World Cup (in 2022). Against England about a year back, they won by 10 wickets chasing 200 (in September 2022). Why break something that is working? This phobia of strike rate must end because Pakistan do not have the luxury of such skills and talent,” Raja added.

In the ongoing T20 World Cup, Pakistan have been kncoked. The side needs Ireland to beat United States on June 14 to bow out the tournament with a win.

Pakistan crashed out of the tournament after USA’s game against Ireland was washed out. With five points in three matches, USA joined India in the Super 8 stage from Group A.

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