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ISLAMABAD: Former cricketer Ramiz Raja has heaped praises on Babar Azam saying that form-wise and quality-wise currently he is the best Pakistan batsman.

“He is a future (Test) star. The way he bats releases pressure. To me he seems a number three batsman. But I’m surprised as why he has not been pushed to this situation,” he said in his comments on the ongoing Pakistan and South Africa Test match at the Johannesburg.

He said in Tests Babar was batting at number six, which was not a suitable position for a batsman of that caliber. “When he comes to bat he does half of the batting with the batsmen and half with the tailenders.”

He said at the moment Babar was learning Test batting and hence should not be made to bat with the tailenders. “Batting with the tail is a different sort of pressure. This tour was to make Babar Azam (a star), but unfortunately Pakistan missed that chance.”

He appreciated both the openers Imam and Shan Masood for showing courage in the second innings on the fast bouncy track.  He said in the South Africa tour, he had noted that some stars were in the making, while for some stars it would be very difficult to retain their place in the team. “Such kind of tours, especially the (Wanderers) pitch contributes in the making as well breaking of stars.”

Ramiz said Pakistan team was full of surprises as on several occasions you would see it getting bowled out in just 40 overs, while at times it pulled very long innings.

Commenting upon Pakistan team captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s performance Ramiz said his performance had not been very bad because he scored half century in the first innings and also did record dismissals in a Test for Pakistan behind the stumps. “Many congratulations to Safraz as he did 10 dismissals behind the wickets, which is a Pakistan record. Only he has to increase the level of captaincy and need to learn,” he added.

He expressed the hope that Pakistan captain would learn a lot from the ongoing South Africa tour. “Experiences at such tours make you a solid individual. You come to know which players are tough in that dugout and would stand with you.”

Ramiz said he was a bit disappointed with pacer Mohammad Abbas’ bowling as he had not shown the form that was being expected from him. “The situation and pitches were ideally made for him to perform. May be due to shoulder injury he was a bit underdone,” he added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019

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