The second match between India and Pakistan was a memorable one for everyone involved. Fans were on the edge of their seat for most of the time. Since it was a high-scoring game, there were plenty of high-flying shots. Some of them came through the bat of Mohammad Nawaz. It was an incredible night for the 28-year-old from Rawalpindi, who starred with the ball first and later with the bat. Having been promoted up the order, commentators pondered whether this is too much of a gamble.
Right when they were having the discussion, Nawaz hit Hardik Pandya for a clean six. Nawaz got the better of Pandya almost every time. His contribution of 42 was invaluable given how fast those runs came. Pakistan had a slow start in their first ten overs. Naturally, someone needed to take charge and up the ante. Nawaz played that role to perfection. He released pressure from Rizwan, who played a more calculated and risk-free cricket.
Nawaz followed a plan that made a huge difference. He didn’t play premeditated shots. He waited for the ball, and then pounced on it. Never did he go on the front foot right away. It obviously was a lesson learned from the previous match where Indian bowlers got the better of their opposition with short-pitched deliveries. Nawaz spoke about his promotion up the batting order and the team’s strategy.
Positive Pressure Helped My Game – Nawaz
“We wanted to keep the right-left combination going,” Nawaz said about his promotion. “If a left-hander [Fakhar Zaman] fell, I was to go in. I wanted to be clear in my mind about what I wanted to execute. We needed ten-plus an over. As youngsters, you want to play in such games and execute under pressure. In such a high-pressure game to play an innings like this gives me massive confidence as a player and in my growth.
I will work harder to manage the rising expectations so that I can deliver like a proper allrounder. I was feeling the pressure, but positive pressure, not the negative pressure,” he said. “I knew I could do it. I just needed to focus on my batting and execute my skills.”