The Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team has had a mixed run in the ODI World Cup 2023, securing two wins and suffering two losses so far. In their last match against Australia, Pakistan lost by 62 runs and enter this match with two wins and two defeats.
On the other hand, Afghanistan have won only one match in this campaign, famously defeating England for only their second-ever World Cup win. The Afghans lost to New Zealand in their last match, losing by 149 runs. Against Pakistan, they will be facing their arch-rivals, which will be enough motivation to fight for a victory, which could reignite their campaign.
As Team Pakistan gear up for their upcoming match against Afghanistan, cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja took the opportunity to express his views on their recent performances.
Ramiz Raja shares a strong warning to Pakistan for the Afghanistan clash
Looking ahead to Pakistan’s next fixture against Afghanistan in Chennai on October 23, Raja emphasized the difficulty of the upcoming challenge.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja pointed out that Afghanistan’s famous spin department could outplay Pakistan in Chennai and prove to be a key factor.
“It will be difficult for Pakistan to make a turnaround. Anything can happen in Chennai in their next match is against Afghanistan. Keeping in mind the performance of Pakistan batters against spin, anything can happen here. If it’s a spinning wicket, I think Afghanistan will be slightly ahead as favourites,” he said.
“Once you lose the momentum, it is difficult to get it back and win. The next match is against Afghanistan in Chennai, which will not be an easy match as Pakistan’s batters don’t play spin that well,” Ramiz was quoted as saying to Star Sports.
Analysis of Pakistan’s loss to Australia
Raja didn’t hold back when dissecting Pakistan’s recent defeat against Australia. He directed criticism towards Pakistan’s fielding, identifying it as a key factor behind their loss. Additionally, he expressed disappointment with Pakistan’s batting performance, particularly their inability to post substantial scores.
Rizwan inching closer to a milestone
This historic rivalry has seen both sides face each other in seven ODIs, out of which, Pakistan have won all matches. All eyes will be on Mohammad Rizwan, who is only 13 runs away from becoming the fourth Pakistan wicketkeeper to reach 2000 ODI runs after Kamran Akmal, Moin Khan and Sarfaraz Ahmed (though not all 2000 of these runs would come as designated wicketkeeper for Rizwan). Meanwhile, Mujeeb Ur Rahman needs three dismissals to become the fourth Afghanistan cricketer to reach 100 ODI wickets.
Meanwhile, Shaheen Shah Afridi is also in good form, having put in a good display against Australia. Against Pat Cummins and Co, he ended with 5/54, including a maiden over. Shaheen also boasts a good record against Afghanistan, with 12 wickets at 15.25.