Former Pakistani captain Ramiz Raja came down hard on the Indian batting order after the batsman failed to get going in the ongoing five-match T20I series’ first three matches. He targeted the likes of Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, and most specifically, Hardik Pandya.
India is trailing 1-2 in the series with the fourth T20I to be played on March 18, Thursday. It is no rocket science that KL Rahul is the one India batsman who is under the most pressure to deliver. He has received backing from not only the captain Virat Kohli and batting coach Vikram Rathour and the whole team, but he cannot take his place for granted in the team.
Middle-Order Needs To Be Performing Better If India’s Top Order Is Disappointing Them: Ramiz Raja
The former Pakistani captain was critical of the Indian middle failing to go on after getting starts. He mentioned the likes of Rishabh Pant, and Ishan Kishan, who have started well, but not gone onto make big scores.
“When you have this kind of opening combination against England and they’re getting out early, pressure is bound to be created. Ishan Kishan was being batted at No. 3, and England pulled off a brilliant strategy of bowling shirt to him. Besides, Rishabh Pant is getting out after scoring 25. He shouldn’t be getting out after being set,” Raja said on his YouTube channel.
His (Hardik Pandya) Batting Failures Are Dragging The Whole Team Down And He Has To Realize It: Ramiz Raja
However, Ramiz was talking about the failure of Hardik Pandya to come lower down the order and boost the scoring of the Indian team. Pandya was the hero with the bat in India’s ODI series wins in Australia where he finished off the matches brilliantly. He made scores of 90s in the same series and showed that he was back.
However, he is not in the form as England bowlers have found his weak spot where he can be kept quiet and are bowling to him at the same spot.
“Similarly, Hardik Pandya’s bat is not working. England are bowling throat balls against him. They know they can’t afford to bowl full to him or make him face spin. So they are sticking to short of good length and Pandya is appearing ungainly while trying to go for the big shots. We don’t expect him to score 17 off 20 balls. He usually takes off from there and flattens the opposition. Because of his failures, his lack of big-hitting, the entire team has been pushed into a whirlpool,” Ramiz said.
He further felt that India will need to perform brilliantly with the bat, despite its positives with the balls. India needs to win the 4th T20I in order to stay alive in the series and make the 5th T20I the series decider.