LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has refused to label the tourists as favourites for Pakistan’s upcoming series in Zimbabwe, arguing that the hosts’ recent surge in form meant that both teams stood an equal chance at winning.
Zimbabwe marked their Test return after a six-year self-imposed exile with a win against Bangladesh before clinching the One-Day International series 3-2.
But Raja said that Pakistan lost the favourites’ tag after including too many new faces.
“Pakistan are no more the favourites,” said Raja. “The new players in the team are going to be under pressure and this is why both sides are on equal footing.”
The former batsman added the team was already rebuilding and the induction of young faces was risky.
“The induction of one or two players was more suitable. Pakistan aren’t in a position to experiment. The team’s performance would now depend on these new players.”
Pleased at Malik’s return
Meanwhile, Raja was pleased after Shoaib Malik earned a recall for the Zimbabwe series.
“The integrity committee’s scrutiny of his accounts would surely be on his mind but I believe he’s lucky to have a chance against a weaker side.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.
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