Former Pakistan skipper, Ramiz Raja has lamented the country’s cricket system, questioning their conservative approach on the recent tour of Zimbabwe. Pakistan toured Zimbabwe with a nearly full strength squad, defeating them 2-0 in Tests and 2-1 in T20Is. Raja questioned the move, calling it ‘one step forward and two steps backward’ and vouched for experiment with new players on such tours.
“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 is,” Raja explained on a YouTube channel called ‘The Indian News’.
Raja wants Pakistan to take the example of other countries and use the T20Is to try new players, ahead of the veterans.
“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.
“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.”
According to him, the Pakistan system needs a re-think.
“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 Raja.
“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 not how teams are built. It just goes to show the state of our system wherein the new players are a long way behind.”