Fans will see a different Pakistan batting in second T20I: Mohammad Rizwan

Abdul Mohi Shah

Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan on Wednesday said that fans will get to see a much better performance from the batting side going into the second twenty20 international (T20I) against Zimbabwe.

Talking to media in an online interview following Pakistan’s narrow 11-run victory over the hosts in the first T20I, the 28-year-old said that changed conditions made the task tougher for his team.

“You would see a different Pakistan batting in the second T20 mainly because we have now seen the nature of the wicket and know well what is required in these conditions,” Rizwan said. “Not losing wickets earlier on is the key here. Batsmen are gilled and geared up to put up a better performance in days to come.”

The wicket-keeper batsman, who scored an unbeaten 82, played yet another match-winning innings to guide Pakistan to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Rizwan said that playing in totally changed conditions always remains a difficult task for every squad. “We were wary of the conditions knowing well that these surfaces are totally different to that in South Africa. That exactly happened here as we struggled to get runs when we were put into bat first. We wanted to bowl first because we did not have a clue about nature of the pitch,” he said.

“Zimbabwe pitches are quite different. Here a score of around 170 can easily be billed as match-winning. Usually, you find a double pace wicket here where big-hitting becomes all the more difficult. Our batsmen struggled to hit big shots because of the awkward bounce.”

Read: Zimbabwe captain confident to use home advantage against Pakistan

The right-handed batsman also praised his captain Babar Azam, saying he always helped him upfront.

“What we had in our mind was that one of the openers would stay till the last. Sometimes I take over and sometimes Babar does. I am thankful to Allah Almighty that I stayed till the end to make sure that we set a reasonable target to defend,” he said.

Rizwan added that even after putting up a 149 on the board, they were sure of a good contest.

“We knew well that even 160 was a very good target. Our batsmen struggled to play shots and kept on losing wickets. But I knew I was there and my efforts had always been to reach a decent score and that was around 150 which we ultimately achieved,” he said.

The batsman had all praise for the bowlers, saying they remained stick to the challenge, making sure that even 149 was defendable.

“That is a quality of a world-class attack. They have the guts to stick to the challenge and even defend a low total. On one hand, if we have some concerns about batting, on the other we should praise our bowling for making sure that Pakistan stays in the match and can win it.”

Read: Babar Azam likely to become fastest to 2000 T20I runs in Zimbabwe series

Pak vs Zim: Different Pakistan to bat in second T20I, says Mohammad Rizwan