Is it correct to call Mohammad Rizwan ‘Bradman of T20 cricket’?

Rizwan was once criticised on social media for not being able to hit a six

By Saad Tabani
April 24, 2024
Rizwan has scored 3,048 runs in T20s in 80 innings at an average of 49. - AFP 

The success story of Rizwan in T20 cricket over the last three years has been nothing short of amazing.

Rizwan was once criticised on social media for not being able to hit a six in T20 cricket but he now has 82 maximums in matches for Pakistan. He also recently became the fastest to 3,000 runs in the shortest format of the game.

Is Rizwan, as Shaheen Afridi said, the Bradman of T20 cricket or is he building his own legacy? Let’s take a look.

Struggles in powerplay

Rizwan has scored 3,048 runs in T20s in 80 innings at an average of 49 and a strike rate of 127. While these stats aren’t bad but its debatable whether that should be used to call him ‘Bradman’.

Then there is another debate surrounding Rizwan, something that has been haunting him for the last three years as well, which is strike rate.

Within T20 cricket, the powerplay is an opportunity to land the first blows for either side but it favours batters more with all the fielders being in the inner circle.

To call a player Bradman would be in simple terms the best in the business, and while Rizwan has played many knocks for Pakistan through the safety-first approach, but he has not shown his ability to play impactful innings and give Pakistan rapid starts. A strike rate of 117 in the first six overs in T20s for Pakistan does however raise serious doubts on him being a match winner as they say 80% of T20 games are won in the powerplay.


The current setup of the Pakistan T20 team shows that they have the resources to be a good batting lineup and Rizwan is not under too much pressure with the presence of Babar Azam and Saim Ayub, who both have shown ability to accelerate the innings.

Babar’s recent hundred in the PSL against Islamabad United or Saim’s strike rate of 157 for Peshawar Zalmi shows that they fit the bill in T20s and can provide Pakistan with great starts.

But Saim is inconsistent as compared with Rizwan because the latter has been consistent in the runs he has scored, showing his ability to be a player who Pakistan can rely on to go deep into the innings.

Lack of ability to shift gears in the middle

Pakistan lacks the fire power in the middle overs, 7-16, and we have seen that this has led to the downfall of Pakistan T20 team. If we look at what phase Pakistan struggle the most in recent times and in the past, it’s the middle overs and Rizwan is seen as the main culprit. In T20, he lacks ability to shift gears due to his style of game and anchoring the innings.

Although, Rizwan plays at a healthy average of 53 in the middle overs but having a strike rate of 127 is below par. This is a weakness of Rizwan because it shows his inability to shift gears in T20s at a crucial stage of the game.

Recently, Rizwan again showed in the third T20 between Pakistan and New Zealand, although he got injured, that he is not willing to utilise the balls he faces to the best of his ability and his innings of 22 runs of 21 balls at a strike rate of 104, which is now a days not popular in T20 cricket, was a big reason why Pakistan had faced defeat in that match.

The last 4

T20 cricket brings high intensity and rapid phases of impact in each part of the game but none matches the events that occur in the death overs. But is Rizwan doing justice with the death overs?

Rizwan has played at a strike rate of 177.72 in the death overs and this is outstanding showing he is able to change the momentum of the game in the most important part of the innings.

Rizwan also has 29 fours and 16 sixes in this phase which highlights his tremendous ability to find the boundary on consistent occasion in these vital overs.


Rizwan, no doubt, is a consistent T20 player who has scored lots of runs for Pakistan in the last three years. He has built his own legacy through scoring lots of runs in the way he finds most comfortable.

The middle overs haven’t been great for him but his main strength is clearly the death overs which shows, once he gets set, he can take the bowlers to the cleaners.

But due to his inability to score runs efficiently for Pakistan in the powerplay and his slow and steady way of play in the middle provides enough evidence to claim that he isn’t the best in this format and certainly not the Bradman of T20 cricket.