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Ramiz Raja: Lifeless wickets not a good advert for Test cricket

The Pindi Cricket Stadium pitch was criticized during Australia’s tour in March when ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the wicket as below average after only 14 wickets fell in five days

Raja was impressed with England’s aggressive intent. (AP)

A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board says the lifeless wicket for the Test against England is not a great advertisement for the longer format of the game and that Pakistan needs to look for drop-in pitches.

“Not happy at all (with the pitch),” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja told reporters on Friday. “We may just get a result, but it’s just not a great advert.”

In its first Test in Pakistan in 17 years, England racked up a monumental 657 in its first innings at a rapid pace of 6.5 an over with four of its five top batters — Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope — smashing centuries. Raja said Pakistan needs to prepare drop-in pitches at home similar to the ones in Australia to challenge teams like England, which has been playing an aggressive brand of cricket since Brendon McCullum took over as coach in June.

“I think our way out is for drop-in pitches here because all the surfaces (in Pakistan) are more or less the same,” Raja said. “If you want to nail England, for example, on a spinning track then we’ve got to prepare a drop-in pitch that turns from ball number one, rather than having a half-baked pitch which is neither quick nor spin a lot.”

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The Pindi Cricket Stadium pitch was criticized during Australia’s tour in March when ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the wicket as below average after only 14 wickets fell in five days. Raja was impressed with England’s aggressive intent, which has seen the team beating New Zealand and South Africa at home this summer under McCullum’s fearless approach.

“We’re seeing a new template in Test match cricket, which is taking the game to the opposition,” Raja said. “There’s been a solid planning and a solid thought behind the entire exercise. It’s not like the button has switched on where you suddenly produce four centuries and a score of 500 in a day.

“We want Pakistan to change course. Let’s see whether we are able to do that or not, but it will take time for sub-continent teams to have that kind of mentality.”

First published on: 02-12-2022 at 20:31 IST
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