Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja shared his thoughts on Pakistan’s loss to New Zealand in their first warm-up game of the ICC World Cup 2023 to New Zealand in Hyderabad on September 29.
Pakistan had batted first and thanks to a ton from Mohammad Rizwan and 80 from Babar Azam, posted 345/6 in 50 overs. In response, Rachin Ravindra made 97 and Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, and Mark Chapman scored half-centuries, as New Zealand won by 5 wickets and over six overs left.
This was also Kane Williamson’s first competitive match in six months as he returned from knee surgery. Pakistani bowlers had no answer to the aggressive batting by New Zealand, who continued with a high rate of scoring despite losing a few wickets.
Ramiz Raja, commentating during the encounter, wasn't particularly pleased with the side's approach in the game. Ramiz stated that Pakistan needed to bat according to the nature of pitches in India, insisting that they would have to score over “400".
“I know it was just a practice game, but a win is a win. And winning becomes a habit. But I feel Pakistan is now getting a habit of losing. First, they lost in the Asia Cup, and now here. Pakistan scored 345 and it was a great run-chase. If these are the pitches – and you will get such pitches in India – you will have to score 400 if your bowling keeps misfiring like this. You will have to change your tactics, and take risks. And we don't do that. We play defensively for first 10-15 overs and then shift gears,” Ramiz said on Suno News YouTube channel.
Pakistan had rested Shaheen Afridi for this match, while Haris Rauf only bowled four overs. Shadab Khan was present on the field but was not called into the attack by Babar Azam.