Mohammad Rizwan defends Pakistan’s Powerplay Batting in Semi-Final

Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan on Monday (November 15) defended the team’s strategy to starting a T20 innings steadily and not rapidly, replying to the critics who said that the team may be under-achieving with the bat despite their rich resources in the XI.

Rizwan and opening partner Babar Azam played major roles at the top of the order in Pakistan’s run to the semi-final of the just-concluded T20 World Cup but their conservative approach wasn’t without its share of criticism.

Executing the pre-match plans was the priority – Rizwan

”Look if we talk about the Powerplay we have to admit that it was our strength and this is not something that I am saying it is stated by all the former stars and commentators who arrived in the last World Cup that we don’t give wickets to the main bowlers of the opponent and we keep our wickets intact and score 160 or 170 in Dubai by pushing in the end,” Rizwan said.

”We must assess the condition and I admit that the Powerplay did not happen as we would have liked but you have to realise that even teams with power hitters they were scoring 42 to 43 or at 45 runs in the Powerplay. If you bring out our average it will end up at 40(37) but the thing is that we did not lose wickets in the Powerplay. You might see that we have not hit sixes but for me and my captain what is more important is that we execute the plans that we have,” he said.

Negative talks about me pushed me instead of demotivating me –  Rizwan

”I am happy that I have scored the most runs in the calendar year. But I’m more delighted that I was able to secure this record for my country. I used to get a push from all the talks that were going around behind my back and it used to give a challenge and I always welcomed it.

”If I have to talk about my record surely I would mention the names who were behind me in this journey. Richard Pybuss helped me mentally to adjust with T20 cricket. Inzy [Inzamam-ul-Haq] bhai had given me ideas. But the man who was behind the seen during this journey and helped me a lot through this whole year and whenever I needed help in the ground the man who arranged it is our Shahid Aslam bhai (Assistant Coach).

”As far as Mathew Hayden is concerned to be honest at this stage no one can tell you how to hold the bat or say something that will make a huge change in your batting. But they can tell you something that can give you a clue and earlier there was Younis [Khan] bhai who had given me two or three clues and it helped me to move forward.

I am following those suggestions made by Yunus bhai and Mathew Hayden also said few things that not only helped me but what I feel is that if all the Pakistani batter follow that it will them in their career. A stage comes when all the ex-players share their experience and if you can pick one or two things from them it will help a lot in their career,” he said.


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