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Ramiz Raja hits out at pitch prepared for ENG vs PAK Test; says not at all happy

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.

Kartik Mehindru Edited By: Kartik Mehindru @mehindrukartik New Delhi Published on: December 02, 2022 18:27 IST
Ramiz Raja | File Photo
Image Source : AP Ramiz Raja | File Photo

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja says that he is not at all happy with the pitch of the ongoing Test match between Pakistan and Australia. He went on to say that it is not a good advertisement for Test cricket. 

Raja Unhappy

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

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.

Need For Drop-in Pitches

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.

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"I think our way out is for drop-in pitches here because all the surfaces (in Pakistan) are more or less the same. 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 spins a lot," said Raja.

The History

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.

The New Template

"We're seeing a new template in test match cricket, which is taking the game to the opposition," Raja said.

"There's been 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." 

At the end of Day 2, after being absolutely blasted by the England batters, Pakistan have started solidly as they finished the day without any loss and with 181 runs on board. 

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