Pakistan’s former cricketer, Ramiz Raja has expressed concerns over the decrease in the bowling speed of Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi during the first ODI against New Zealand.
Commenting on the performances of the pacers in the first ODI against New Zealand, Ramiz Raja pressed on the need for pace. He said both Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi need to increase their pace to be more effective in ODIs, especially in the challenging conditions of Asia where pitches offer little movement.
“There is a question mark hovering over Haris Rauf, and I think it’s because he isn’t as effective as a length bowler. He either bowls good yorkers or has a good change of pace, and in T20s, when batsmen take chances, he takes wickets easily. In ODIs, bowling is different, and I think he needs to increase his pace to be more effective. Overall, his pace has decreased, I don’t know if he himself is bowling with less pace. Let’s say there is a 10-over spell, then I can understand not exerting too much pace in 2-3 overs, but overall, I think his pace needs to be increased a bit more,” he said.
Talking about Shaheen Afridi, the former PCB Chairman said, “Shaheen Afridi also needs to increase his average speed of 136 and go up by a notch or two when he bowls forward. This is because, on such pitches, you need to have a good understanding of your bowling, as you know that you will not get much sideways movement. Therefore, you need to develop a process through variations, change of pace, or sheer pace to be effective.”
It should be noted that the Asian conditions, particularly Pindi’s pitch, have been challenging for fast bowlers. Furthermore, Shaheen Afridi’s knee injury has also caused a decline in his pace. With the ODI World Cup on the horizon, both Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi need to figure out a way to be effective in these conditions because they are the primary pacers of the side.