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Dropping Yasir Shah a huge selection mistake: Ramiz Raja

The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that the failure of batsmen created more pressure.

Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The Pakistan Test team have had a tough time in the recent past. After losing a home series to New Zealand, they are struggling to cope with the foreign conditions in South Africa. They lost the first two Test matches and both games didn’t go the distance as the first one ended inside three days while the second one barely went into the fourth day. The batting has failed to live up to the expectation as they crossed the 200-run mark just once on this tour.

However, the bowling has also blown hot and cold and hence, with both departments not firing in unison, the team management decided to go in with a couple of all-rounders (Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf) which bolstered the bowling attack and lengthened the batting a touch. Hence, Pakistan had to drop frontline leg-spinner Yasir Shah who has been lacklustre in the two games he played. He picked up just one wicket in the 32.4 overs he bowled across the two Tests.

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But former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja feels that given the calibre of Yasir Shah, the 32-year-old leg-spinner was unfairly dropped. The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that the failure of batsmen created more pressure and hence, it led to the axe of him. He termed the dropping of Yasir Shah as a ‘huge selection mistake’. “Yasir was unfairly dropped because the side will need him on this [Johannesburg] pitch. Unfortunately, the leggie was dropped due to the low performance from the batsmen because it created pressure on him, as Pakistan decided to pick allrounders,” Ramiz Raja was quoted saying on Ramiz Speaks.

Pakistan batsmen fail to stand up once again as South Africa dominate

After failures in the first two Tests, the Pakistan batting once again failed to deliver as they were bundled out for 185 in the first innings of the third and final Test match in Johannesburg. In reply to South Africa’s 262, Pakistan were going decently as skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Babar Azam counter-attacked. But a couple of poor strokes led to their downfall and the last five wickets fell for 16 runs.

After conceding a 77-run lead, Pakistan bowlers fought back well. The bowlers shared the spoils as they reduced South Africa to 45/4 in the second innings. However, Hashim Amla (who is unbeaten on 42) alongside Temba Bavuma (23) and Quinton de Kock (unbeaten on 34) took the Proteas to stumps with a lead of 212.

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