Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja believes that Pakistan Cricket Board needs to be ruthless in selection and build a younger team in order to be as competitive as Australia and England. Pakistan lost the Test series 1-0 to England, and then drew the T20 series 1-1 last month. But Raja feels Pakistan team in unsure about the direction in which they want to go at the moment.
Speaking to Pakistan broadcaster Sawera Pasha on her Youtube chat show ‘Cric Cast’, Raja said: “I feel teams are fine-tuning their combination and Pakistan needs to learn. I am still saying that unless you see the combinations from all angles, it will not be a wholesome exercise for the World Cup.
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“England and Australia are still in the experimental stage, even though they are well-established sides. But Pakistan is trying as though they want the combination now itself and it will be seen whatever happens after 8 months. They want to make an established unit now itself and just start winning,” he added.
“I think to get the direction, we need to be ruthless. I remember when Imran Khan had become the leader, he had a net of experienced players surrounding him.
”I don’t want to take names, but there were 5-6 players who could have played for one or two years. He got rid of all of them and just kept Javed Miandad and built a young team. We had a very young team in the 1992 World Cup,” he further recalled.
“You need to be ruthless first of all in the selection and you should have a proper direction. You need to tell everyone that you are trying new players, even though you may not get the desired results immediately.
“The second thing is that you need to keep the friendships aside, people you have played together with. Selection should be only performance-based. I feel at times we think only about the present in just trying to win and don’t focus on the future.
“And there is a hotchpotch situation, on one side side we have made Babar Azam the captain and the on other side we have picked two individuals who are almost 40 years old. So, I am not understanding what direction we are trying to take,” Raja further opined.
“I agree Hafeez had an outstanding, I would say honeymoon period and if he serves Pakistan like this then no one would have any problem. But pressure would get created on him eventually and if we don’t prepare his replacement, then you will again appear reluctant in blooding youth,” he signed off.