'Against India, it's not worth taking chance on him': Ramiz Raja wants Babar to drop Pakistan star for IND vs PAK clash
On the first day of the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan beat Nepal by 238 runs in Multan. This showed how much better they are than Nepal.
The best player in the world, Babar Azam, and the second-best, Iftikhar Ahmed, both played very well. Babar's 151 runs off 131 balls was his 19th ODI century, and Iftikhar's unbeaten 109 runs off 71 balls was his first century in the format.
With the help of the hundreds, Pakistan scored a huge 342/6 before Nepal's openers were easily bowled out for only 104 in 23.4 overs.
Pakistan did, however, have some early problems when openers Fakhar Zaman (14) and Imam-ul-Haq (9) were out for low scores. The team management is especially worried about Fakhar's lack of form. The left-handed opening also did not do well in the recent ODI series against Afghanistan. In three games, he scored 2, 30, and 27.
When Pakistan's next game is against India and important games are coming up in the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup in October and November, having an out-of-form opener is not the best position.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja thinks that Fakhar needs to be taken out of the game for a long time so that he can get back on track.
"Fakhar Zaman is the biggest problem. He doesn't hit like most people, so when he gets out of shape, it takes some time to figure out what to do. Ramiz said on his official YouTube page, "He's a bottom-handed player who plays on the leg side. Somehow, he adjusts to that and scores."
"He played three games against Afghanistan, but he didn't do as well. His body language is getting worse, and Pakistan needs a starter who is in good shape. If Imam is also fired quickly, it adds to the pressure. Fakhar needs to be looked at by Pakistan. I think they should give him a break and let him rest.
Putting him on the bench is better for both him and the Pakistan team. Pakistan has given him chances because he is a good player. But with the way he is playing against India, that chance is not worth taking."
The next exciting Group A match, between Pakistan and India, will take place on Saturday. The team led by Babar Azam went to Sri Lanka for the match in Kandy. India hopes to start their season with a win over their biggest foes.
If both India and Pakistan make it to the Super Fours and the final, they could play each other three times during the competition.