Pakistan and Australia played the first Test of the three-match series in Rawalpindi and the game ended in a draw. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has admitted that the pitch was not a good advertisement for Test cricket and said that he understands the frustration of the fans.
Pakistan are playing against Australia in a three-match Test series and the opening game was played in Rawalpindi. The match resulted in a draw and there has been heavy criticism on the nature of the pitch. Batting first Pakistan declared on 476/4 in the first innings and Australia were wrapped up for 459 runs. Pakistan openers then went on to score 252 for the opening wicket and the match ended in a draw. Imam-ul-Haq scored centuries in both the innings. Nauman Ali picked six wickets for Pakistan in the first innings.
Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramij Raza has also said that the pitch in the first Test was not a good advertisement for Test cricket.
"A drawn match is never a good advertisement for Test cricket, and I totally understand that we need to get a result in five days these days, and we get it 90% [of the time], but I want to remind you of 2-3 things," Raja said in a video on YouTube.
Raza took over the reins of PCB in September 2021 for a three-year term. He had mentioned after his appointment that pitches in Pakistan are to be redone. Reflecting on the issue , Raza said that 50-60 pitches in Pakistan will be redone once their season ends in March-April. Raza also stated that he understands the frustration of the fans but they can’t prepare fast or bouncy pitch and play into the hands of Australia.
"It takes 5-6 months to prepare pitches, and during the off-season, you will see - soil is coming from Australia; we've experimented, consulted soil experts and prepared soils, and we will redo 50-60 pitches all over Pakistan once our season ends in March-April."
"I understand the frustration of the fans - undoubtedly it would have been very good if we had a result, but this is a three-Test series, and we need to understand that a lot of cricket still remains to be played. Just for the heck of it, we can't prepare a fast pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the game in Australia's lap," he added.
There were doubts over the performance of the openers against Australia. Imam was returning to the Test squad for the first time in a couple of years. Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf were also absent from the Pakistan Test team. Raja pointed out that as the pacers were missing from the squad so pace-friendly surface cannot be kept keeping the strengths of squad in mind.
"So when your opening batting pair and bowling pair are both disturbed and raw, you can't take chances. Our legspinner wasn't ready, Yasir Shah was unfit, so we got on the field with an under-resourced 15, and Australia, don't forget, are a global powerhouse, and were coming here after winning the Ashes. We respect their talent. So we couldn't go into an experimental mode so early, keeping our strengths in mind," he stated
"I understand that we have gained a lot of confidence from this performance. The batting has sparkled, and on the bowling front, a spinner [Nauman Ali] has taken six wickets. So these are bright points."