“This is selfishness” – Sikander Bakht criticizes Mohammad Rizwan for 63-Ball 90* against New Zealand

Mohammad Rizwan blames Fast Bowlers for defeat against NZ

Former Pakistan cricketer Sikander Bakht lashed out at Mohammad Rizwan for his ‘selfish innings’ in the fourth T20I against New Zealand. He said the keeper-batsman reminded everyone of his old self by playing an innings like he did in the 2022 Asia Cup final.

Mohammad Rizwan was the only warrior in the Pakistan team in the fourth T20I against New Zealand. After failing in the first three games, the keeper-batsman finally got some runs under his belt and ensured he took his team to a decent total when everyone else was struggling.

Opening the innings, Mohammad Rizwan held his bat and did not get the desired support from the other end. He played attentively and made sure he didn’t lose his wicket and gave his team some score on the board.

Mohammad Rizwan played an unbeaten 90 runs off 63 balls. He batted with a strike rate of over 172 and also hit 6 fours and 2 sixes in his innings. His innings propelled Pakistan to a total of 158/5 when they were reeling at 86/4.

Sikander Bakht highlighted how Mohammad Rizwan did not attempt shots in the last over. He believes the keeper-batsman did it because he wanted to remain unbeaten in the crease. He added that the opener batted 20 overs and should have seen the ball as a football. Speaking to Geo Super, he explained:

“In the final over, Rizwan played 4 balls and only made the same number of runs. He didn’t even try to hit a four or a six. This is selfishness and he may not like the word. But Rizwan is selfish because he wanted to remain undefeated.

You are playing for Pakistan and you have played 20 overs, batting 90. Rizwan should have seen the ball as football. How come he only managed 4 runs?

Mohammad Rizwan gave a glimpse of his former self – Sikander Bakht

Sikander Bakht also lashed out at Mohammad Rizwan, saying his innings reminded him of his knock in the Asia Cup final. He compared the keeper-batsman’s innings with that of Finn Allen, who scored 137 off 62 balls in the second game. He explained:

“Mohammad Rizwan gave a glimpse of his former self, notably recalling his innings in the Asia Cup final when Pakistan were chasing 160 (170) and needed 8 overs and raised to 18 when he got out.

“In their match, Rizwan scored 90 off 63 balls, while Finn Allen scored 137 off just 62 balls in the last game. Until our players play like this, we won’t be able to win.”

Mohammad Rizwan’s efforts went in vain as Pakistan lost the game by a margin of 7 wickets. This was their fourth straight loss in the series and they are losing by a 4-0 margin. Under Shaheen Afridi’s leadership, it hasn’t been a great outing for them in the T20Is. There would be signs of concern ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024. The last match of the five-match series will be played on January 21. Pakistan would hope to avoid the whitewash and win at least one game in the series.