Ramiz Raja questions Azhar Ali’s place in Pak team

Karachi: Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has put a question mark on right-hand batsman Azhar Ali’s place in the squad.

“There is a big question mark over Azhar [Ali]’s place in the team. Apart from that first innings during the first Test where he scored 30 odd runs, he just never looked in control, to be honest,” The Express Tribune quoted Raza, as saying.

“He can neither play the short ball nor did he look comfortable against the deliveries which are moving,” The Express Tribune further quoted Raza, as saying on Saturday.

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Ali is having a disappointing run in the ongoing three-match Test series against South Africa where he has scoring figures of 36, 0, 2, 6 and 0 in the last five innings.

Raja said that the batsman hardly looked in control during the Test series and is holding a position in the team only because he has got an experience of 70 Test matches.

“With such performances in the series, he is only holding his place in the playing eleven because he has the experience of playing 70 odd Test matches. But I believe, sometimes you have to take strong decisions for the betterment of the team. Because all of these players are here to play and contribute in the team’s winning cause,” he added.

Raja further criticised Pakistan team management’s decision to drop leg-spinner Yasir Shah from the ongoing third Test against South Africa.

“I think it was a wrong decision by the team management to drop a match-winner like Yasir [Shah]. How can you drop someone who is the quickest to 200 wickets on a pitch which will assist him? I think he was treated unfairly,” he said.

“He was dropped because the management was worried about the team’s batting woes. It shows that the think tank is not thinking clearly because Test cricket is a game of specialists,” he added.

South Africa are leading the three-match series 2-0 against Pakistan and have maintained a strong position in the third Test as well with a second innings lead of 212 runs at the stumps of Day Two.


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