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'Pakistan have dug a hole for themselves' - Ramiz Raja slams poor show on Day 1 v England

England have reached a commanding position after the end of Day 1 at 332-4, thanks to Zak Crawley
England have reached a commanding position after the end of Day 1 at 332-4, thanks to Zak Crawley's brilliant 171*
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Former Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja believes that Pakistan have put themselves in a spot of bother at the end of Day 1 of the third Test against England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

England put up a fantastic show with the bat as they ended the day on 332-4, with Zack Crawley hitting a brilliant 171* and Jos Buttler contributing with an important 87*.

Speaking through a video on his Youtube channel, Ramiz Raja expressed his dismay at how Pakistan have allowed England to score freely, and that the hosts look well poised to get to 500.

"Pakistan have unfortunately dug a hole for themselves after the first day's play. Because England have made too many runs going at almost 4 runs per over and a score in excess of 325 on the first day means that England are likely to reach 500. To make these 500 runs, Pakistan will require time and that is exactly what they do not have because of rain and bad light," Ramiz Raja said.

Ramiz Raja believes that Pakistan did not throw caution to the wind and though they competed well in the first two sessions, the visitors let the game escape from their clutches in the final session.

The former Pakistan cricketer was also upset by the way an aggressive bowler like Yasir Shah was used to contain runs, rather than the leg-spinner needing to be used to make an impact with short spells.

"And if Pakistan are to score 500 and bring themselves in a winning position, one of the bowlers will have to bowl a brilliant spell. Who will that strike bowler be? Yasir Shah? Yasir Shah has bowled too many overs on day one. You cannot make a leg spinner a defensive bowler as he should be given short spells to create an impact and take wickets," he further added.

First session will be crucial on Day 2: Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja still believes that Pakistan have a chance if they strike early on Day 2. He feels that if Pakistan take early wickets and restrict England to as low a score as possible, then they have a chance to make a strong comeback in the Test.

"Second day first session is very important. The second new ball is still fresh and conditions will be conducive to seam and swing bowling. If Pakistan strike in the first session then they can make a comeback and they need it because this is a do or die situation. First session will be a make-or-break session," he added.

With the England pair of Crawley and Buttler looking in fine touch so far, the Pakistan bowlers will face an uphill task of removing both of them and restricting the hosts from running away with the match.

Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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