Mohammad Rizwan, a stalwart of the national squad, is not intimidated by the development of many offensive wicketkeeper/batsmen in Pakistan; rather, he is looking for more of his kind. Rizwan’s glove skills have never been questioned, but during the last two and a half years, he has disproven the claims of many that he is a soft-hitting hitter.
Rizwan has routinely scored fast runs for the national team as well as local franchise T20 tournaments like the HBL Pakistan Super League since rising to the top of Pakistan’s T20 batting order in late 2020. But unlike two years ago, when the Multan Sultans skipper was the only wicketkeeper/batsman in the nation capable of smacking sixes and fours at whim.
Competition for wicketkeeper spot
Mohammad Haris of Peshawar Zalmi and Azam Khan of Islamabad United have regularly cleared the boundary on many occasions during the current eighth season of the PSL. Both players are qualified to take Rizwan’s spot when the time comes since they have previously earned international experience. Nonetheless, the vice captain of Pakistan wants to see more talented wicketkeepers join the team. With the Pakistani team, I’d want to see not one, not two, but at least five wicketkeepers, Rizwan said to Dawn on Wednesday.
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“But, they must adhere to the necessary requirements for it. “I’m not intimidated by the competition; in fact, I’m trying to find more wicketkeepers in Pakistan,” the player said. Rizwan is particularly taken with Haseebullah Khan, a young man from Quetta. The 18-year-old left-hander led Pakistan in runs scored in the national 50-over event known as the Pakistan Cup and the U-19 World Cup last year.
He showed no fear while facing the bowlers for Peshawar Zalmi on his PSL debut on Wednesday, scoring a superb half-century. Haseebullah is doing well and has excellent technique, according to what I recently saw, stated Rizwan. Yet, it’s crucial for players [participating in the home circuit] to perform to the standard expected of a Pakistani player; else, the efforts are wasted. For national selection, Haris, Azam, and Haseebullah are undoubtedly banging on doors, but Rizwan is also pressing forward with the bat.
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With 358 runs at an average of 82, he is presently the PSL season’s leading run scorer. Rizwan wicketkeeper/batsman has also struck a century. His contributions have helped Multan Sultans win four of their first six games. In the Multan Cricket Stadium, their home field, they have won every game. For Rizwan, home advantage is not a crucial consideration. “We will aim to take that energy on to other places as well, the way we performed in Multan,” he remarked.
“I don’t believe any of the stadiums favour a certain side significantly, but the audience does have some influence,” the author said. The Sultans’ most recent performance was a 66-run thrashing by Karachi Kings at the National Stadium, when they undoubtedly shown signs of a team missing home. Their middle order, which is strong on southpaws, struggled against off-spin bowling throughout the game, especially that of Kings all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who dismissed dangerman Rilee Rossouw and also claimed Rizwan’s wicket.
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Being left-handed throughout our middle order presents issues, but against Karachi, it was the first time that they truly suffered, said Rizwan. “I was unable to evaluate the pitch. It was interesting to see Shoaib Malik bowl that day. While I’m certain that given their fame, these players will be able to handle spinners in the next games, it’s still crucial for us to be ready.