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Saud Shakeel

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Criticises Pakistan Batsmen For Approaching ODI Cricket With A Mindset Of T20Is

Inzamam-ul-Haq, a former cricketer believes Pakistan is approaching ODI cricket with a T20 mindset after England’s second-string side beat Pakistan by 52 runs in the second ODI at Lord’s on Saturday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, the former cricketer criticised Pakistan batsmen for not taking their time at the crease.

Inzamam ul Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Is Trying To Play T20 Cricket

Despite being without their first-choice squad and being put in to bat in conditions which Ben Stokes described as “lovely to bowl in” and subsiding to 160 for 7 with 20 overs of their innings remaining, England won the 2nd ODI by 52 runs after winning the first ODI in Cardiff by nine wickets.

“Pakistan team is trying to play T20 cricket. They were going for big hits and were not rotating the strike. Pakistan played 151 dot balls and yet they didn’t bat 50 overs. Fakhar scored only 8 runs in 50 balls, so a bowler is bound to create pressure on you,” Inzamam said.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

“Every batsman is playing four dot balls and then going for a hit. You need to rotate the strike and give time to yourself in ODIs otherwise you will only score 150 or 190,” he added.

Pakistan’s top-order batting which is supposed to be their strength in white-ball cricket has become the cause of a chastening series loss after the abject surrender in the first 2 ODIs. In Cardiff, they were reduced to 26 for 4 even as the game had barely begun while at Lord’s they stumbled to 36 for 3 and then 53 for 4. The likes of Imam ul Haq (0 and 1), Babar Azam (0 and 19), Mohammed Rizwan (13 and 5) failed in both games.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Saud Shakeel Was Playing Proper ODI Cricket

However, Inzamam-ul-Haq lauded the temperament of young batsman Saud Shakeel, who scored his maiden ODI fifty in the second ODI. There were encouraging moments for Pakistan as Saud Shakeel, in just his second ODI, looked composed in his knock of 56 runs off 77 balls.

“Saud Shakeel was playing proper ODI cricket. He didn’t score at a high strike rate but I found him confident and he scored under pressure, which is a good sign for Pakistan cricket. There are areas in which he can still improve, but his confidence and technique are very good,” he said.

Saud Shakeel
Saud Shakeel. Photo Credit: Twitter.

England’s second string proved more than a match for a Pakistan team that had lost only one of their 12 most recent ODIs and is currently ranked No. 3 in the World Cup Super League. Pakistan will take on England in the third match of the series on Tuesday in Birmingham.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
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Ramiz Raja Dissatisfied As A “Glorified County Team” Had Twice Beaten Pakistan

Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan cricketer-turned-commentator is extremely unhappy with the way Pakistan has been beaten by a second-string England side comprising of relatively inexperienced cricketers. For the second ODI game in a row, Pakistan’s batting failed to show spine and was caught off guard by England.

Pakistan couldn’t chase down a target of 248 against an inexperienced bowling attack. Ramiz Raja used the term ‘glorified county team’ while describing the relatively weak England side, giving viewers an account of the enormity of the defeat.

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

Ramiz Raja Laments As A Glorified County Team 2nd-String England Has Beaten Pakistan Twice In A Row For Which Pakistan Is Under The Threat Of A Whitewash

In a video on his YouTube channel, Ramiz Raja explained how Pakistan’s series loss is a reflection of the failure of their cricketing system. He fears Pakistan might even lose the series 3-0.

“If you try to measure the series defeat of Pakistan on a rectre scale of the earthquake, you will find the value to be fifteen. This is a massive blow and I don’t understand how one can defend it. We are talking about a glorified county team that has beaten Pakistan. Look how the tables have turned that now Pakistan are under the threat of a whitewash,” Ramiz Raja said.

Having scored a handy 40, Lewis Gregory also picked up three wickets
Having scored a handy 40, Lewis Gregory also picked up three wickets © AFP

Asked to bat first, England posted 247 courtesy of a 97-run stand between Phil Salt (60) and James Vince (56). When Lewis Gregory and Brydon Carse came together, England had just lost three wickets for four runs and was precariously placed at 160 for 7. At that stage, a total of 200 looked unlikely.

But the pair added 69 in 77 balls – a record eighth-wicket partnership at Lord’s in ODI cricket – to drag England to what proved to be a competitive total on a Lord’s surface offering assistance to both seam and spin bowlers.

Chasing a target of 248, all Pakistan needed was a steady start. But their top order flopped again. Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, and Mohammed Rizwan, the in-form batsmen for them, had yet another forgetful outing with the bat.
In the first 10 overs, three wickets were down.
Saud Shakeel was the only batsman who showed the composure and desire to stay out in the middle and build an inning. He notched up his maiden ODI fifty and kept a little bit of hope alive for Pakistan.

Ramiz Raja Asks When Will Some Overrated Players Who Keep On Playing For Pakistan Be Changed

Ramiz Raja took a direct dig at the Pakistan coaches and spoke about a few of the ‘overrated’ players present in the team. He feels it is high time there must be changes in the coaching setup and also in the team.

“If the alarm bells don’t ring now I don’t know when they will. Such headlines are unbearable for Pakistani fans. How much more time should be given to the coaches before their performance is judged? Some overrated players keep on playing for Pakistan. When will this all change?” Ramiz Raja signed off.

Hasan Ali picked up 5-51
Hasan Ali picked up 5-51 © Getty

Ramiz Raja also slammed the Pakistan team for disappointing their fans consistently. He believes there must be fundamental changes in Pakistan cricket or else they will continue to face such embarrassing defeats.

England overcomes Hasan Ali five-for to win by 52 runs to take the series with a game to spare. England has wrapped up the Royal London ODI series against Pakistan with a game to spare following a 52-run victory over Pakistan at Lord’s. Having won the first match ODI in Cardiff by nine wickets, it means they go into the final game at Edgbaston on Tuesday with an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES
Naseem Shah- GETTY IMAGES
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Pakistan Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah For Tests And Names Azam Khan In T20Is

Pakistan has recalled pacers – Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah – for the Test series against the West Indies. Meanwhile, Azam Khan, who is an uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators participating in PSL, has been picked in the T20I set-up that will play against England and the West Indies. The T20I squad also includes veteran all-rounder Imad Wasim.

Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah were dropped from the Test squad after the Test series in New Zealand, with the duo averaging 45 and 73 respectively.

Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad.
Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad. © Getty

Pakistan Has Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah And Picked Hard-Hitting Batsman Azam Khan

However, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas had a successful time in the West Indies in 2017 picking up 15 wickets. He has also bagged 27 wickets in the County Championship in England this season.

“We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while. This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship,” Muhammad Wasim, chief selector, said.

“As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges,” he added.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who missed the Test series versus Zimbabwe because of a knee injury, also returns to the Test set-up. Yasir Shah’s inclusion though is subject to him recovering completely from the knee injury.

“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there. The return of these four players meant we had to leave some players, which is never an easy decision. But we have collectively opted for what was in the best interest of the side, taking into consideration the opponents and the requirement of the formats on the upcoming tours,” Wasim noted.

“Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to clearing his fitness test. He was sidelined due to a knee injury after the second Test against South Africa earlier this year and was expected to reclaim complete fitness for the West Indies tour. It, however, has not been the case, but we remain hopeful that he will complete his rehabilitation before the departure,” he added.

Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan's Test squad Getty Images
Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan’s Test squad Getty Images

Nauman Ali, a left-arm spinner, who has made a successful start to his Test career, retains his place in the Test set-up. Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood and off-spinner Sajid Khan have also been retained for the two Tests to be played in Jamaica.

On the other hand, Azam Khan, who scored at a strike rate of over 144 for Gladiators, makes it to the T20I squad. Azam Khan has notched up 743 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.41 in his T20 career so far. Imad Wasim, who hasn’t played a T20I since December last year, has also been selected.

Pakistan Has Included Saud Shakeel In ODI And Test Squad

Pakistan is also set to play three ODIs against England in July. For that series, Pakistan’s selectors have included uncapped batsman Saud Shakeel. Saud Shakeel, who is a prolific run-getter in Pakistan’s domestic cricket, missed out on the twin tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe due to a Grade-1 quadriceps tear. Incidentally, he also makes it into the Test squad.

Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail's Twitter handle
Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail’s Twitter handle

The experienced batsman, Haris Sohail, also finds a place in the ODI squad. Meanwhile, Tabish Khan and Salman Ali Agha have been dropped from the 21-man squad, though Salman Ali Agha is part of the ODI squad for England.

“The side since the home series against South Africa has maintained an upward movement, but still there are a few loose ends that we would like to close by the end of the England and West Indies tours so that there is absolute clarity on our compositions for the post-West Indies tour engagements. I strongly believe the changes will plug those gaps and will put us in a strong position in our endeavors to feature in the top three across all formats by the end of 2023.”

Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20Is in England from 8-20 July, before taking on West Indies in five T20Is that will be followed by two Tests.

Squads:

ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usman Qadir

T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, and Usman Qadir.

Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood.