Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s keeper has rubbished rumours of differences in the team. According to Mohammad Rizwan, all talks of favouritism are completely baseless. Over the last few months, allegations of favouritism and claims of the captain and coach not being on the same page have been doing the rounds in Pakistan cricket.
In an interview back in May, discarded left-arm pacer Junaid Khan made the shocking claim that players get a run in the national team only if they are close to the captain and team management. Pakistan’s Test vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan has asked for a break ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Mohammad Rizwan: Rumours Of Differences In The Pakistan Team Are Baseless
Speaking to the media ahead of the second Test against West Indies in Jamaica, Mohammad Rizwan asserted that the current Pakistan set-up is working for the betterment of the team.
He commented: “It is important for everyone involved to be on the same page. I don’t think there is any division on that front in our team. These rumours are totally baseless about favouritism.”
Apart from his impressive run in T20 cricket, Mohammad Rizwan also led Multan Sultans to the PSL title this year. The 29-year-old has been rewarded by being named deputy to Babar Azam in the Test side.
Asked about the responsibility of leadership, the wicketkeeper-batsman asserted: “I am not feeling any pressure right now. It’s crucial to be firm in leadership. I do try to give my inputs to Babar (Azam). He is very calm under pressure and never shows his emotions even if he is tense inside.”
Despite finding themselves in a winning position, Pakistan ended up losing the first Test against the West Indies by one wicket as the hosts chased 168 in an incredible finish. At 114 for 7, Pakistan had the Windies on the mat but failed to put the finishing touches. Mohammad Rizwan, though, backed the team and pointed out that they were slightly unlucky in the first Test.
He stated: “Quite a few edges didn’t go to hand and we weren’t good in the field at certain periods. But the boys put in their best effort and we’re confident of bouncing back in the next game which is a crucial game for us. Hopefully, we can perform well and level the series.”
Pakistan is presently engaged in a 2-match Test series against West Indies, the result of the first match in which didn’t go in their favour. Though Mohammad Rizwan is hopeful of the team making a comeback in the second Test, he said that 2-match series don’t give enough time for the new players to test themselves.
West Indies needed 26 more at the fall of their eighth wicket and when they lost their ninth, still needed 17, but they managed to get over the line in a thrilling finish. The loss was Pakistan’s third such game in the last few years where they were denied a win after being on the brink of one.
Mohammad Rizwan: Batting In West Indies Pitches Were Tough
Pakistan’s batting yet again failed to deliver in the first Test as they managed scores of only 217 and 203. Mohammad Rizwan, however, pointed out that the conditions in Jamaica are tough for batting.
“It’s not that the boys haven’t given acceptable performances. In a short series like this, we can’t make changes overnight and it’s also important to back our openers. Ultimately, opening in Tests isn’t an easy task at all. You also need to look at the conditions on offer. On pitches where batting is really tough, we can’t really fault the openers alone.”
The second Test between Pakistan and West Indies will begin in Jamaica on August 20. Meanwhile, Pakistan is set to rest Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali for the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka next month, keeping the T20 World Cup in mind.
Pakistan has played more games than any other team besides England since the Covid-19 outbreak, which in turn has meant significantly long periods of travelling as part of a biosecure bubble.
Both Mohammad Rizwan (44) and Babar Azam (40) have played more international games than any player in the world since April 2020. Shaheen Afridi played 37 while Hasan Ali, since his comeback early this year, went on to play 20 games across all formats. All four also played two editions of the PSL, adding further time spent in bio-bubbles.