T20 World Cup 2024: Sanjay Manjrekar Disagrees With Ramiz Raja, Gives This Advice To Pakistan

The pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan has been opening the innings for Pakistan in T20Is for the last few years. They also opened in the first two matches of the ongoing T20 World Cup against USA and India but failed to provide good starts as Pakistan suffered defeats. Thereafter, the Pakistan team management changed the opening combination for the third match of the tournament.
Pakistan cricket team

Pakistan cricket team in action at T20 World Cup 2024

Photo : Pakistan Cricket
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has highlighted the area of concern for Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 while disagreeing with ex-PCB chief Ramiz Raja over the batting positions of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
The pair of Babar and Rizwan has been opening the innings for Pakistan in T20Is for the last few years. They also opened in the first two matches of the ongoing T20 World Cup against USA and India but failed to provide good starts as Pakistan suffered defeats.
Thereafter, the Pakistan team management changed the opening combination for the third match as Babar dropped down to No. 3 and Saim Ayub opened alongside Rizwan against Canada.
The change in the opening pair also didn't give Pakistan the desired result. However, Sanjy Manjrekar feels this is a step in the right direction and welcomed the move to give Babar the No.3 position.
"I'm glad they have made a change in the batting order. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan can't be opening together. Both of them were not really keen to strike early, so they put somebody else in at the top. Left-hand, right-hand combination is not such a bad thing. So some good things are happening there," Manjrekar told Star Sports.
Pakistan are fighting for survival after losing two matches against USA and India in Group A. The Babar Azam-led side will meet Ireland in a must-win clash on Sunday.
The 58-year-old Manjrekar feels batting is still an area of concern for Pakistan and they might face a tougher challenge in Super Eight.
"Batting is still a bit of a concern. Mohammad Amir is coming into his own. So, I see them just being better than Ireland to win the game. But once they get into the Super Eight, that is going to be another sort of acid test for them because they are not looking as good as some of the other teams that have gone through," he said.
Notably, Manjrekar’s opinion is completely different from Ramiz Raja, who had said that Pakistan cannot afford to lose wickets in the powerplay, and they should back Babar and Rizwan as openers at the ICC event. The former PCB chief gave the example of Indian stars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
"Looking at what Pakistan have got, you cannot afford to start by losing wickets. They may not give you the strike rate of a Rohit (Sharma) or a Virat (Kohli), but, you know, at least they give you solidity. And this Pakistan team, with the kind of batting lineup that they've got, they've got to play within what they have got. So, it's important that they start off with Babar and Rizwan because it takes years to establish an opening partnership and pair," Raja told Cricbuzz.
The 61-year-old had also said that it is important for the Pakistan team to have fit players.
"You see, for me, it is important for the team to be fit. You can't have a separate case for someone who's talented but not fit. Look at Imad Wasim. He was not fit. He couldn't run properly and there were a couple of run out chances (against India). The first thing you need to have is a set standard of fitness," Raja said.
End of Article
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