Former Pakistan opening batsman Ramiz Raja has a piece of advice for Test captain Azhar Ali ahead of the tour of England. The Pakistan team has landed in Manchester for a high-profile visit to England, where they will play three Tests and three T20Is after the conclusion of the West Indies series. Despite plenty of roadblocks on the way, the PCB did not cancel the Test and limited-overs rubbers.
Want to be a professional cricketer?
Meanwhile, apart from Babar Azam, the focus would be on Azhar Ali as well. The 35-year old’s form has been a cause of concern, having averaged only 21.73 and 30.41 in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
During this period, Ali has managed only two centuries and four half-centuries. It was also in England that the right-handed batsman played the first of his 78 Tests in 2010.
While Azhar Ali cited that they would target England’s work-in-progress top-order, Ramiz Raja advised him to make his bat talk for runs. Ramiz pointed out that the Lahore-born cricketer’s captaincy was not up to the mark in Australia in November 2019 where the tourists suffered an innings loss in both the matches. Azhar could manage only 62 runs in four innings.
“My advice for Azhar will be to first focus on his own batting. His captaincy wasn’t good in Australia and also in recent times his form has not been that great,” Ramiz Raja stated as quoted by Times Now.
The cricketer-turned-commentator suggested that the captain leading from the front with the willow would also inspire his teammates and backed Babar Azam to come good as he did in Australia.
“So he should be focusing on his batting first so that he can inspire his teammates. Also, it is a great chance for Babar Azam to again impress the world as he did in Australia,” Ramiz Raja said.
It is absolutely great news that cricket is finally returning to action: Ramiz Raja
While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has come under criticism for plenty of positive COVID-19 cases amongst the 29-member touring party, the 57-year old thinks differently.
Raja, who was part of the 1992 World Cup-winning squad credited them for having a positive approach towards the resumption of the sport. He also hopes for the Test series between England and West Indies, beginning on the 8th of July to transpire smoothly.
“PCB deserves the credit as they have maintained a positive and clear approach about the England tour from day one. It is absolutely great news that cricket is finally returning to action. I hope the series against Windies and Pakistan go smoothly in England to provide great entertainment to the lovers of the game.” Raja added.