Former Pakistan captain turned commentator, Ramiz Raja has raised questions surrounding the selection of the Pakistan squad for the upcoming tour to England and Ireland.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced a 16-member squad that will fly to England and Ireland. The tour starts with a one-off Test against the recently crowned full-members, Ireland from May 11.
Following that, the Pakistan team will play a two-match Test series against Joe Root & Co.
The selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq has gone for five rookies, who are yet to play Test cricket.
However, this has not gone well with Raja, as he expressed his disappointment on the exclusion of Wahab Riaz. Ramiz believes Riaz is the most successful wicket-taker after leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Moreover, Shah misses out with an injury, as young Shadab Khan slots in.
“I ask why Riaz is not picked, as he was among the most impressive bowlers in the Pakistan Super League, bowling over 150kmph and reversing the ball.So if there is no Yasir Shah at the disposal, who will take the wickets? I believe the next best choice for Pakistan was Riaz, which they missed out on,” said Raja.
Ali shouldn’t open the innings
Speaking on the batting line, Raja also questioned the selection of Fakhar Zaman in this format. He also admitted that Azhar Ali shouldn’t open the batting because he is the mainstay of Pakistan’s batting.
“Ali shouldn’t open the batting, because if he gets out early, it will create a lot of pressure on the amateur looking batting order, so he should bat at number three.
“Meanwhile, trying out Zaman as an opener in English conditions is a bad idea, because Zaman’s batting is weak under the seam-friendly conditions in England. If we want to introduce Zaman as an opener he should be used in the local Asian conditions first,” he added.
Pakistan under the leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed will play the Test against Ireland in Dublin. Following that they will play in Lords and Headingley against England. It will be a real challenge for the visitors with so many players in their ranks.