India-England series a trailer for other teams ahead of T20 World Cup - Ramiz Raja

The former Pakistan captain says the five-match T20 series will help other teams improve their skills and strategy ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Indian and English players shake hands at the conclusion of the fourth T20I on Thursday. - GETTY IMAGES   -  Getty Images

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has termed the ongoing series between India and England as a “trailer” for other teams, saying the five-match T20 rubber will help them improve their skills and strategy ahead of the T20 World Cup.

“I think it is a trailer for other teams on how to improve their skills, strategies for this format before the World Cup,” he said in an interview on the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel. “We have two of the best teams playing and I think England is the team to beat in the World Cup.”

Ramiz heaped praise on the England team for its meteoric rise in white-ball cricket. “Their rise in white ball cricket has been massively impressive given the fact that until some years back they didn't even give priority to ODIs or leave alone T20 cricket," he said.

“England are fearless now and playing attacking cricket in white ball format.”

Ramiz also felt England had shell-shocked the quality top order of the Indian team with its express pace.

‘Poor man’s M. S.’

The former Pakistan batsman described Misbah-ul-Haq as the poor man’s MS Dhoni, saying the Pakistan head coach needs to adopt a “modern thinking” approach to guide the team. “Misbah’s training and upbringing is different. Let me put it this way, he is the poor man’s Dhoni. M. S. was also restrained, no expressions and not emotional. Misbah is also like this but I think now he has to go on modern thinking,” he said.

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“Misbah has to take a new direction because there is a need to set the GPS right for Pakistan cricket because aggression is in our DNA. I think at times he gets too protective and he gets cagey as soon as we lose a match. But if our products and talent is right we shouldn’t be afraid of hiccups and setbacks.”

Asked to compare Misbah with India’s head coach Ravi Shastri, Ramiz made some interesting observations. “When we played against Ravi we felt he was a misfit in Indian team because he had aggression, he was a go getter, team player ready to open bat down the order and his body language was different. We felt he wanted to be a Imran Khan type player because we were like that.

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“I think he took this attitude to the Indian team and fortunately for him the captain Virat Kohli is also like that - aggressive and expressive - and this has made a big difference to the Indian team.”

‘No need for permanent coaches’

Ramiz also called for the appointment of a chief executive for the Pakistan team who would oversee only technical cricket matters related to the team selection, coaches, players etc. He felt time had come for Pakistan to stop reliance on foreign coaches. “In the past I could understand we needed foreign coaches because we were young to this field but now we have grown ourselves in this area. In fact I think there is no need to have permanent coaches with the team for all tours and we should only be appointing specialist coaches as required on tour to tour series to series basis. Appointment of coaches should be tour based and opposition based. Use their expertise for a series and move on rather than carry on with them for a long period.”

Talking about the World Test Championship, Ramiz said: “The current format was lopsided and prolonged and it made no sense not having India and Pakistan series. Teams didn’t play the same number of matches and even the points system was weird. Next time when the WTC is held no cricket should be held at that time, No ODIs or T20s, if you want to promote test cricket and infuse life into it and also attract sponsors to this format.”

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