Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja didn’t mince any words while lamenting the “mismatch” and “one-sided” recently concluded Test series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Harare.
Babar Azam’s side comprehensively dominated the hosts in both matches: Pakistan won the first Test by an innings and 116 runs inside three days; the second Test lasted 4 days with the visitors claiming it by an innings and 147 runs.
Ramiz Raja reckons people will switch to other sports if such lopsided Test matches are played out, in a time when the 5-day cricket is already facing threat from white-ball cricket. He points out that Zimbabwe didn’t even learn from their mistakes in the first Test, and put on a similar insipid show in the second – hence, for Ramiz Raja, there is little point playing such off-balanced Tests.
“Such mismatch series should not take place. Test cricket is already under pressure and very few people watch it. If you show them such one-sided matches, then they will switch to watching football or other sports. 3-day Test match is a joke,” Ramiz Raja said on his YouTube channel.
“Some people are of the opinion that when a weak team plays a strong one, you need to focus on what you learn from it rather than the outcome of the match. You learn from the stronger team’s process and the way it adapts to the changing situation of a game. But I don’t think Zimbabwe learned anything from this series because they were continuously dominated by Pakistan.
“Also, there was no difference in their performance in the second Test as compared to the first one,” he added.
For now, Zimbabwe should not play Test cricket and concentrate only on white-ball cricket: Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja, a veteran of over 250 internationals, opines that Zimbabwe, for now, should stay away from Test cricket as they are no match for most of the other teams. The 58-year-old also is disappointed by the downfall of Zimbabwe cricket and the quality of its players in the last couple of decades.
“It’s sad to see Zimbabwe’s current state because they were a very competitive team back in the day. Their team in the 1992 World Cup had three or four world-class players who could take the game away from you if proper planning was not done.
“There has been a gradual deterioration in their system and structure along with corruption in cricket board. This performance is a reflection of this deterioration over the past 15-20 years. I hope they do well in the future but for now, they should not play Test cricket and concentrate only on white-ball cricket,” he stated further.
Babar Azam’s team is scheduled to travel to England for 6 white-ball matches – 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is – in the month of July.