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First Pak-Aus Test: Ramiz Raja’s tall claims bite the dust on dead Pindi pitch

March 8, 2022 09:47 PM

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Imam-ul-Haq Tuesday joined Pakistan’s elite group of players, who had scored centuries in both Test innings as Rawalpindi Test ended in a tame draw at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Besides Imam, it was Abdullah Shafique, who stole many hearts as he completed his maiden ton and remained unbeaten after scoring 136 with the help of 15 boundaries and one six as Pakistan consumed 77 overs in their second innings without losing a single wicket.

It is a huge disrespect to not only Test cricket but also to the massive crowd of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, who turned up in massive numbers to witness all five days of highly boring Test cricket. It is high time to take action should be taken against curator Agha Zahid.

Pakistan Cricket Board Patron, Prime Minister Imran Khan should also take action PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja, who in the recent past before taking over Chairmanship and also after becoming chairman PCB was highly vocal about the dead pitches and promised to even introduce result-oriented pitches even in the first class cricket. Where all his tall claims are gone? It is very easy to make tall claims when not in power but almost impossible to implement when one enjoys unlimited powers. Ramiz is a highly powerful Chairman and like he had claimed he is only answerable to PCB Patron. Now the ball is in PM’s court, whether he will dare to take action or like his past statements, PM Khan will keep mum.

Australians have been touring Pakistan after 24 year’s long and hard gap and it was expected that the PCB will show some guts and prepare pitches suited to their conditions but it is very disheartening to see such a poor and highly non-friendly pitch and it is massive injustice to the bowlers of both teams, especially to Australian bowlers, who are without a shadow of a doubt are world class and had picked wickets in almost all conditions. At Rawalpindi, Pakistan managed to pile up 728 runs in the match with only four wickets to fall and that too included one run out of Babar Azam. It was for the very first time in Australian Test match history that their bowlers were so expensive without taking many wickets and it is only the second time in Test cricket that such poor bowling figures of a team were witnessed. Test cricket is already dying in the world and there are only a handful of Test playing nations in the world despite almost 200 years of cricket, unlike football, which is being played in more than 200 countries.

ICC is also to be blamed for not encouraging more countries to play cricket as cricket is being restricted to only a few countries for decades. Why ICC is not working on bridging the gap among countries? What is the prime role of ICC?

Ramiz Raja was also telling the commentators not to discuss too much about the Rawalpindi pitch. Why? Because he knows ICC might award Dermot points against Pakistan just like they did against the Aussies. Does Pakistan team management really think they are the winners by grabbing four points, or actually it is Australia, who managed to take four points right under our noses?     

PCB and coaching staff along with captain Babar Azam think they managed to tire out Australia by tea. No, they are absolutely wrong as after bowling 77 overs on the last day, Australian batsmen and players including Warner were witnessed practising and jogging on the ground. It was in fact Pakistan team, which had to pay a heavy price in Karachi now as Aussies managed to keep their main bowlers fresh with the only exception of Lyon. Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood had bowled only 6 overs each in between them while Lyon alone bowled 26 overs. But it will help him a great deal in Karachi as PCB doesn’t have many options regarding which kind of pitch to use at the National Stadium from the 12th of this month.

This coward and outdated approach also made it very clear to all those, who were thinking with the arrival of Ramiz that Pakistan cricket will take giant strides. Ramiz is no different to past bosses, rather, he is more responsible as he had the opportunity to surpass past mentality and prepare pitch suited both to bowlers and batsmen. But he completely failed to do so. The entire world is making fun of Pakistan cricket, they are within their right to question the tactics of the PCB and especially Babar. As on what grounds and reasons, he opted to enter the match with only 4 bowlers. Out of them, only Shaheen had played a satisfying amount of Test matches and the rest of the three including Naseem were almost new to the Test arena. Babar is equally responsible for entering the match with a highly defensive frame of mind. He never tried to go for victory rather from the word go. It was obvious, Pakistan were playing for a draw or hoping for a miracle. How on earth Babar, Ramiz and others were thinking Pakistani bowlers will take 20 Australian wickets?

The only positivity from the drawn Test is Nauman Ali’s delightful bowling as he grabbed 6 for 107, while Shaheen also bowled his heart out. Earlier, Australia resumed their first innings and were bundled out for 459 as Nauman and Shaheen wrap up last three wickets without giving away much. All the other countries always keep in mind conditions suited to them. We have to give credit to Bangladesh, South Africa, England, Australia and especially India as India never compromise nor hesitate to prepare pitches as per their requirements. Despite losing first Test to England last year at home, Indian management went with the same spin paradise, which produced desired results. Why Pakistan Cricket Board is scared of preparing decent tracks. Why do they always hope and depend on prayers to win matches? Until and unless this defensive approach is not changed, the Pakistan team will continue to struggle and none other but PCB and Ramiz will be held accountable.

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