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Pak need to take advantage of Stokes’ absence : Ramiz Raja

Lahore : Former batsman Ramiz Raja feels that Pakistan should take advantage of all-rounder Ben Stokes’ absence from the England squad for the remainder of the ongoing Test series. The hosts lead the three-Test series 1-0 following their three-wicket win in Manchester last week.The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had earlier announced that Stokes will miss the final two Tests due to personal reasons and Raja feels Pakistan must exploit his absence to make a comeback into the series.”He (Stokes) is one of the most talented all-rounders in the world. Also, his name is now being taken in the list of one of the best ever,” Raja said during a conversation with Waheed Khan on the latter’s YouTube channel Cricket Baaz.”He has been an impactful batsman for England and he comes up with the goods with the ball as well. It will be a big loss (for England). Pakistan need to take advantage of his absence,” he added.Earlier, fast-bowler Jofra Archer had said that the hosts will definitely miss the services of Stokes in the final two Tests in Southampton, but had insisted that they will try to get the job done without him.”We now have to complete the job without Ben Stokes. He is someone we would miss even if he was unable to bowl or hit a ball. He has such an impact in the changing room beyond what he does in the middle,” Archer wrote in his column for Daily Mail.”When I was in quarantine in Manchester, he would come past my hotel room each night after play — as did Joe Root — knock on the door and check on me. He cares about those around him.”If you are going into battle, Stokes is the person you want right next to you. He would never run away from a challenge, but family is so important and he has to be in New Zealand right now.”We all understand that, support him and hope things settle quickly and he can come back when he is ready,” he wrote.


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