Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has heaped praise on the Indian cricket team for their dominant performance in the ongoing World Cup, saying they have displayed the gulf between bigger and smaller teams. Raja also took a dig at former Pakistan cricketer Hasan Raza for floating the conspiracy theory that the Indian bowlers are using a different ball compared to the other teams, which is helping them generate seam and swing.
“India have shown the difference between a bigger and a smaller teams. You can see the predictability when India plays. Throughout their World Cup campaign, you know they are going to win. The team hasn’t lost focus, even against the Netherlands they were ruthless. Their reputation continues to grow,” Ramiz Raja said on SUNO News.
“Yeah, it’s possible when Pakistan batters play, the cricket ball may start appearing like a golf ball to them. I don’t think there’s any other difference,” Ramiz Raja quipped.
He then went on to praise the “mastery” of the Indian pacers, who have steamrolled their opponents and are the only team that didn’t concede 300 or more runs in an innings during the league stage of the 2023 World Cup.
“This is the magic – control, swing, seam movement. This is mastery. We should appreciate this. These kind of cricketers raise the level. A subcontinent team has set the level for others, why can’t Pakistan do that!” Ramiz Raja wondered.
Pakistan had a forgettable outing in the World Cup, finishing fifth and getting eliminated. Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, reckons the reason why India has marched ahead of their neighbors is that they have worked on their basics while Pakistan is still living in the past.
“They (India) have worked on their basics. We are living in the past and at the present, aren’t at the level of India. They have set a new standard in bowling. I have never seen such a strong Indian bowling line-up. They have so many legspin options but they haven’t needed to play a legspinner. After (Sunil) Gavaskar they had (Sachin) Tendulkar, then came (Virat) Kohli. The chain continues,” Ramiz Raja said.
“There’s Azad Maidan in Mumbai where kids learn to play cricket. There they are only practicing forward defensive shot for half-an-hour,” he added.
Raja’s comments are a reflection of the growing respect that the Indian cricket team commands from experts and fans around the world. The team has been playing with incredible consistency and dominance in recent years, and their performance in the ongoing World Cup has further cemented their status as one of the best teams in the world.