File photo of Ramiz Raja.© AFP

The cricket pitches in Pakistan came under scrutiny once again after England notched over 500 runs on the first day of the first Test in Rawalpindi on Thursday. It became the first team to score over 500 runs on the opening day of a Test match. The visitors were finally all out for 657. In reply, Pakistan’s openers were nearing centuries of their own at close of play Friday with Abdullah Shafique on 89 and Imam-ul-Haq 90. Earlier, the pitches in Karachi and Rawalpindi too received criticism during the series against Australia.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja is disappointed. “I have really not cracked the code regarding a Test match pitch, unfortunately. Absolutely (disappointed with this pitch). The reason why I am stressing on drop-in pitches in Pakistan is because you will go to Multan and Karachi, you will get a similar flavor. We don’t get bounce, it’s to do with clay, how we prepare a pitch,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

“I don’t (know) what is happening, T20s and ODI, we are fine and pitches don’t come under that kind of scrutiny. But we’re still years away from preparing a great five-day pitch,” he added.

On the other hand, Ramiz also stressed Babar Azam and Co. to change the template of Test cricket.

“You have got to buy into a new template and that is what I am stressing on to the Pakistan cricket team and Babar Azam. Look, I’ll take the hate if you lose a Test series, it doesn’t matter to be me, but we need to try something different. Unless we become an exciting Test team, people will not rate us, especially playing at home. Our strength is fast bowling, but I think we are still a little shy from getting there. I don’t want to turn the wheel completely overnight so it will take time,” he maintained.

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