The India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup contest is on the horizon, with both the teams looking to extend their winning run from two matches to three. Though the two sides are yet to lose a single contest in the ongoing ODI World Cup, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja sees gulf of difference between them. In fact, Raja had a bold admission, as he suggested that Pakistan only have an outside chance of beating the Indian team because of a number of issues that remain in the team at present.
“This game, it’s played off the field as much as it is on the field. It’s a huge game. India will start as favourites, three is no doubt about it. They have all their bases covered, when it comes to batting, bowling and in terms of fitness,” Ramiz Raja told Jio Cinema.
“Pakistan have to raise their level massively if they are to do well. But the win against Sri Lanka, the record chase would have made a huge difference to Pakistan in their dressing room, they have to think of winning and go on with an uncluttered mind,” he added.
With Naseem Shah not a part of the Pakistan squad in the World Cup, the team has struggled to pick up wickets in the first 10 overs. Raja revealed that Shaheen Shah Afridi has been dealing with a injury that has affected his bowling while Haris Rauf‘s pace has gone down. Bowling, which was considered Pakistan’s biggest strength, is now looking like a weakness.
“Pakistan need wickets at the start. But their bowling has come under pressure, wickets are not coming. Naseem Shah is not available, Pakistan are missing him a lot. Shaheen Shah Afridi has a swelling in one of his fingers and because of that he has not been at his best. Hasan Ali’s pace has dripped. But somehow, Pakistan have to lift their bowling performance. If they don’t do it and the bowling is flat, India will bat Pakistan out of the contest. Pakistan have to take their catches well. They should not allow big partnerships.
Even the spin bowling department in the Pakistan team needs some changes, as per Raja.
“Pakistan need a proper spinner. Can they take the chance by playing Usama Mir? The two spinners that are playing now are all-rounders. They have not performed up to the mark now.
“India have a very strong batting line-up. They have to think in terms of selection also. If they go in with an uncluttered mind, if they pick up a a couple of wickets with the new ball, if they can get the tactics right, keep the pressure on India batters in the middle overs, then they have an outside chance,” Raja explained.
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