Ramiz Raja Advocates Dropping Pakistan Star for IND-PAK Clash, Citing Inadequate Performance: Is It Worth It?

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Inaugural Clash of Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan Dominates Nepal with a 238-run Win

Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed Shine with Exceptional Performances

In the inaugural clash of the Asia Cup 2023 on Wednesday, Pakistan showcased their dominance over Nepal with a resounding 238-run triumph in Multan. Babar Azam, the top-ranked batsman in the world, along with Iftikhar Ahmed, delivered exceptional performances; Babar’s impressive knock of 151 runs from 131 deliveries marked his 19th ODI ton, while Iftikhar’s unbeaten 109 runs off 71 balls was his maiden century in the format. Riding on the hundreds, Pakistan put up a mammoth 342/6 before the bowlers made easy work of Nepal batters, bowling them out for merely 104 in 23.4 overs.

Pakistan’s players celebrate after the dismissal of Nepal’s Gulsan Jha (not pictured) during the Asia Cup 2023(AFP)

Pakistan’s Dominant Win

  • Pakistan defeated Nepal with a resounding 238-run triumph in the inaugural clash of the Asia Cup 2023.
  • Babar Azam scored an impressive 151 runs, marking his 19th ODI ton.
  • Ifthikar Ahmed scored his maiden century in the format with an unbeaten 109 runs.
  • Pakistan posted a mammoth total of 342/6 before bowling out Nepal for 104.

Fakhar Zaman’s Struggles

Pakistan did, however, face initial setbacks with openers Fakhar Zaman (14) and Imam-ul-Haq (9) departing cheaply; the lack of form for Fakhar remains a particular concern for the team management. The left-handed opener had endured a poor outing in the recent ODI series against Afghanistan as well, registering scores of 2, 30, and 27 across three games. With a match against India up next and key games coming up in the Asia Cup as well as the ODI World Cup in October-November, an out-of-form opener is far from an ideal situation for Pakistan.

Ramiz Raja’s Views on Fakhar Zaman

  • Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja believes that Fakhar needs to be sidelined for a significant period of time to ensure he regains focus.
  • Ramiz Raja mentioned that Fakhar’s body language is suffering and Pakistan needs an in-form opener.
  • Resting Fakhar and giving him some time out is better for both him and the Pakistan side.
  • Ramiz Raja suggests sidelining Fakhar given his current form.

Pakistan vs. India Up Next

Pakistan will take on India in an electrifying Group A clash up next on Saturday. Babar Azam’s men traveled to Sri Lanka for the game in Kandy, as India aims to start their campaign with a victory over their arch-rivals. India and Pakistan can potentially meet thrice throughout the tournament, given both sides qualify for the Super Fours and the final.

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