Former Pakistan cricketer turned analyst Ramiz Raja isn't impressed with selection in Pakistan cricket and has even demanded preparing replacement for senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez. Ramiz feels there needs to be more ruthlessness in selection with emphasis on giving chances to the younger players.
Pakistan cricket never ceases to amaze the cricket fans across the world. They are unpredictable, volatile, at times they win hearts with their maverick-esque performances while at others, they leave the fans heartbroken with ridiculously poor performances. On their recent tour of the UK, we saw Pakistan giving chances to youngsters in Test cricket, where they were found out due to their inexperience in the longer version while in T20s, they preferred the likes of Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik over youngsters. It was only in the final T20I when 19-year-old Haider Ali got a chance in the XI, who responded with a wonderful fifty.
Former Pakistan cricketer and member of the 1992 World Cup winning side, Ramiz Raja questioned Pakistan's selection policy and said selections should be done on the basis of 'performance' rather than friendship with a keen eye on the future.
"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," Raja told Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast.
The recent three-match T20I series between England and Pakistan ended with both sides winning a game each while one game was abandoned due to rain. Mohammad Hafeez, 39, starred for Pakistan in the series with two half-centuries and was adjudged Player-of-the-Series after he helped Pakistan level the series. But the commentator said that Pakistan look directionless and they need to find a replacement for 'outstanding' Hafeez.
"There is a hotchpotch situation, on one side we have made Babar Azam the captain, and on the 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.
"I agree (Mohammad) Hafeez had an outstanding, I would say honeymoon period and if he serves Pakistan like this then no one would have any problem. But the pressure would get created on him eventually and if we don't prepare his replacement, then you will again appear reluctant in blooding youth," Ramiz said.