Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has criticized Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan for their performance in the match against India on October 14 in Ahmedabad. Razzaq expressed disappointment over what he perceived as a lack of intent and quality shots during their partnership, despite their extensive experience and high rankings.
Babar Azam and Rizwan had a partnership of 82 runs in 17.1 overs before being dismissed. Babar scored his first-ever half-century in an ODI match against India but was bowled by Mohammad Siraj, while Jasprit Bumrah removed Rizwan for 49 runs.
Speaking to Geo Digital, Razzaq stated, “I won’t consider it a partnership. They were not playing fearless cricket. Despite having extensive experience and holding the number one ranking, they seem to lack quality shots. Players really need to step up and improve their game.”
Razzaq also expressed disappointment over the decision to drop Fakhar Zaman, saying, “When Abdullah Shafique scored a century in his debut match, I was against that change. Players deserve support and confidence in international cricket. Batters like Fakhar shouldn’t be substituted. The management should allow him to play throughout this World Cup.”
Pakistan has won two out of three matches in the event, but their only defeat came against arch-rivals India. The remaining matches in the schedule include fixtures against Australia, Afghanistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and England.
The day matches will start at 10:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PST), while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30 pm (PST). If Pakistan qualifies for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata. If India qualifies for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.
The Pakistan squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 includes Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, and Salman Ali Agha. The traveling reserves are Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, and Zaman Khan.