Shadab Khan, Hardik Pandya
Shadab Khan, Hardik Pandya

Ramiz Raja slammed Pakistan’s star all-rounder Shadab Khan after the side’s 1st ODI loss to England and wants his profile to be like India’s Hardik Pandya.

Pakistan was humiliated in the first ODI, of the three-match series, versus England at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Thursday (July 8). Despite England fielding a second-string side with 5 debutants, with the main squad being hit by Covid-19 following the Sri Lanka series, the Men in Green were expected to dictate terms and start off nicely.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

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Pakistan’s Batting Crumbles Against 2nd String England

However, Babar Azam-led Pakistan didn’t have any clue whatsoever against a squad that was formed just a few days before the tour opener. The Ben Stokes-led England unit chose to field first and dismissed Pakistan for a paltry 141 in 35.2 overs, courtesy of Saqib Mahmood’s 4/42. In reply, England chased the target easily without major hiccups, with 9 wickets and 28.1 overs to spare.

Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over Getty Images
Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over Getty Images

None of the Pakistani star players struck the right chord, as the likes of Babar Azam (0), Mohammad Rizwan (13), Imam-ul-Haq (0), Faheem Ashraf (5), Sohaib Maqsood (19), and Saud Shakeel (5) did anything extraordinary.

While Fakhar Zaman (47) and Shadab Khan (30) got off to a start with the bat, the bowlers failed to provide regular breakthroughs in defense of 141. Anguished at the cricket played by Pakistan, former cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja called their performance rubbish.

In a YouTube video that was uploaded on his channel, the 58-year-old highlighted how Pakistan had an upper hand on England but without putting up any fight they simply gave away the match.

Ramiz Raja: Shadab Khan’s Batting Is Going Through A Rusty Period

After the encounter, Ramiz Raja slammed the Pakistan unit and questioned all-rounder Shadab Khan’s role. Further, he said that he wants Shadab Khan’s profile to look like India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

“I don’t understand Shadab’s batting. What is his role when he comes out to bat? Is he a savior or a power hitter? Today he could have played easily because they had a lot of overs in the bank. But generally, his batting is going through a rusty period. He should have a profile like Hardik Pandya, ” said Ramiz Raja.

“He is a power hitter who scores quick fifties. Shadab’s power-hitting has completely gone missing which is saddening because he is so young. This should be his peak time. But we don’t see that kind of batting from him and he needs a lot of work. In this batting lineup Shadab has more value as a power hitter,” Ramiz Raja said on his Youtube channel.

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

He further opined, “Nowhere did it seem like Pakistan would extend their total to at least a fighting one. There was no fighting ability. Pakistan’s bowling has always been an advantage. The whole world agrees that it has potential. But they lost by nine wickets and applied no pressure. They kept feeding the batsmen. This is another specialty of Pakistan that they bring out of form players back in form.”

Pakistan will like to amend their performance in the series opener when they face Ben Stokes-led England in the second and penultimate ODI, at the Kennington Oval, London on Saturday (July 10). Speaking of Shadab Khan, the 22-year-old youngster will be desperate to silence his critics with an all-around display in the remainder of the series.