Former Pakistan captain, Ramiz Raja feels that the ongoing five-match T20I series between India and England is a reminder for other teams to improve their game ahead of the T20 World Cup later in the year scheduled in India.
England and India are the top two ICC-ranked teams in T20Is and are the favourites for the World Cup – the series, which stands locked at 2-2 with one game remaining, has reflected it once again. Both the side have been in terrific form in T20 cricket – England are unbeaten in their last eight T20I series, while Virat Kohli’s side in its last 7.
In further ICC T20I rankings, Australia is at the third position followed by Pakistan and New Zealand. Defending champions West Indies are on the 9th spot behind Bangladesh and Afghanistan; however. Hence, Ramiz Raja reckons that other sides need to improve their performances significantly if they have to match the likes of India and England.
“I think it is a trailer for other teams on how to improve their skills, strategies for this format before the World Cup,” Ramiz Raja said in an interview on the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel.
England is the team to beat in the World Cup: Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja has picked Eoin Morgan’s Three Lions as the favourites for the mega-event. The 58-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator lauds the turnaround Morgan has done in England’s white-ball cricket since their early exit in the 2015 World Cup – England won their first-ever 50-over World Cup a couple of years ago, and are now aiming to become the first team to hold both ICC World Cups simultaneously.
Ramiz Raja asserts that England has prioritized white-ball cricket over Test cricket for the first time in their history – players were rested for the Test series against India but a full-strength squad for selected for the T20I series – and therefore they have become a strong title contender for the T20 World Cup.
“We have two of the best teams playing and I think England is the team to beat in the World Cup. Their rise in white-ball cricket has been massively impressive given the fact that until some years back they didn’t even give priority to ODIs or leave alone T20 cricket. England are fearless now and playing attacking cricket in white-ball format,” Ramiz Raja added.