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Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has shared his thoughts on Pakistan’s loss to Afghanistan in the first T20I of the three-match series in Sharjah on Friday. Pakistan fielded a relatively young side with four debutants, as many senior players were rested for the series. Raja believes that there is no problem with experimenting, but winning should remain the top priority. He added that players need to make necessary adjustments according to the game situation.
Ramiz Raja has a suggestion to overcome flaws
Raja also suggested that Pakistan could include an additional spinner in the lineup for the remaining matches due to the slow pitch. “If the pitch remains like this, I think it will be an exciting series. Now the pressure is on Pakistan and we have to see what they learn from this defeat,” he said. However, he also added that Pakistan needs to chin up since they can still make a comeback and win the series.
During the match, while chasing a target of only 93 runs, Afghanistan reached home in 17.5 overs for the loss of four wickets. This was the first win for Afghanistan over Pakistan in international cricket. Debutant Ihsanullah claimed two wickets in his first over to put the batting side under pressure. However, Afghanistan held their nerve to chase down the target.
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who finished the match with a six, scored unbeaten run-a-ball 38 with the help of three fours and a maximum. Earlier, after a brilliant bowling display by Afghanistan, Pakistan was restricted to 92-9 in 20 overs. This was Pakistan’s lowest total after batting full 20 overs in T20Is. The previous lowest was 96-9 vs Australia in 2014.
Saim Ayub, middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir, and right-arm quicks Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah made their Pakistan debuts during the match. Meanwhile, top-order batter Abdullah Shafique, all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim, and Azam Khan marked their returns to the Pakistan side.
While Pakistan fielded a relatively young side, their lacklustre performance in the first T20I has put pressure on the team to bounce back and win the series. Raja believes that Pakistan has a lot of talent, but the players need to make necessary adjustments according to the game situation. With the pitch being slow, Raja has suggested including an additional spinner in the lineup. As Pakistan prepares for the second T20I, the team will have to focus on their game plan and make necessary improvements to level the series.
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