Former captain Ramiz Raja has slammed Pakistan for producing an insipid performance against India in the ODI World Cup and termed the defeat as “hurting” and “scarring”. India had bundled out Pakistan for a paltry 191 and then riding on Rohit’s brutal fifty registered a seven-wicket win with nearly 20 overs to spare in Ahmedabad on Saturday. “It’s going to hurt them. It’s scarring, it’s a pasting, it’s a battering and they’ve been outpaced and outplayed in all the three departments,” Raja told the ICC Review Podcast.
“If you can’t win, then at least compete. Pakistan weren’t able to do that,” he said.
The defeat was also Pakistan’s eighth successive loss in ODI World Cups to India, and Raja said Pakistan would have to find a way to end the unwanted streak.
“It’s a reality and Pakistan have got to do something about it. They can’t be termed as ‘chokers’ against India because that’s not a great tag to have. Somehow, it’s a mental block, it’s a skill block as well,” said Raja, a member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning squad.
The 61-year-old admitted that Pakistan players go through immense pressure in a match against India, but said they need to rise above that.
“When you’re playing against India, it’s such an environment where it’s 99 per cent India fans and crowds, you’re obviously overwhelmed. I understand all of that.
“But Babar Azam has led this side for a good four or five years, so you’ve got to rise to the occasion,” he added.
Raja urged Pakistan players to take a leaf out of India’s book in handling pressure in such marquee clashes.
“Credit to India for maintaining their presence in World Cup competitions against Pakistan. It’s not an easy match for India also because there are emotions involved, there are expectations involved.
“Then you’re supposed to win because it has been happening for so many years that this can get you under a little bit of extra pressure. But they’ve handled it so well,” he said.
Raja asked captain Babar and other senior Pakistan players to rally around the youngsters so that they come all guns blazing in their next matches.
With two wins and four points in their kitty, Pakistan still are very much in the mix to enter the World Cup semifinals.
“Babar Azam and the senior players will have to rally around some of the young kids and have got to find an answer.
“They’ve got to be brutally honest in those team meetings. I think that is where Pakistan need to start,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article