From AZ Aamir
DERBY: Pakistan’s highly talented stumper Mohammad Rizwan has been in terrific form with the willow besides his meticulous wicket-keeping. He also scored a century in the last four-day game of Pakistan’s intra-squad in Derby the other day after he had scored fifty in the first innings.
He is evidently the first choice for the Test series against England with the former Pakistan’s captain Sarfraz Ahmed looking as number two stumper. The tour starts with the first Test at Manchester from August 5.
Rizwan quite tactfully faced a volley of questions at a virtual news conference about Sarfraz Ahmed.
“I myself is the big fan of Sarfraz. I love him because he was skipper of the team which won Champions Trophy. Here too I am learning from him. He is also working hard and I am too working. But you know it is the team of 22 to 25 crore people and whatever the management wants and who will perform will play,” Rizwan said.
“There is no such pressure on me. I don’t feel anything like this that there is one or two other keepers behind me. My only aim is to live up to the expectations of the team management when I will get a chance,” Rizwan said.
“You know this world is a place of tests and examinations. God judges some by giving them more and also judges those by keeping some deprived. And everyone gets what is in his fate,” Rizwan said.
He also lauded the other stumper Rohail Nazir, saying he is outstanding and hard-working.
He said that the Covid-19 situation is a blessing in disguise for Pakistan team.
“Never in history such gatherings of the players have ever held. We have enough time and get ample time to hold discussions with each other, offer prayers collectively and play other sports and it is a big thing,” Rizwan said. He said they have enough facilities at the bio-secure bubble in Derby.
“What we need is almost available here. Even after Maghreb we get facilities of playing sports. The hotel is well-equipped but it’s a fact that we don’t visit it’s every place,” said Rizwan when asked that the PCB chief executive Waseem Khan has shown reservations over the available facilities at the hotel and ground where the national brigade is practicing.
Rizwan aims to perform with the willow on the tour.
“Yes I have made the plan to deliver with the bat and play long innings. I am working on that. I will never leave any room in doing hard work but will leave the results on God Almighty,” Rizwan said.
He rubbished the impression that some of Pakistan’s frontline batters seem out of touch.
“It’s the best thing that all batsmen are in top form. Barring those who delivered with the bat in the four-day game in Derby Shan Masood and Abid Ali did well in the two-day game in Derby,” he said.
Responding to a question Rizwan said he would try to perform at whichever number the management would send him for batting.
“Batting is very necessary for a wicketkeeper. I think he should be batsman-wicket keeper because of importance of batting for stumper. If you ask any player he will tell you that he should have a proper number but wicket-keeper batsman can be used according to the situation and I will be trying my level best to deliver at whichever position I will get batting,” Rizwan said.
He admitted that saliva ban has created problems for the fast bowlers.
“Yes, it has created some difficulties for the fast bowlers. In our four-day game fast bowlers had to face issues in the fourth innings in spite of the fact that here conditions are seamy,” he conceded.
Rizwan said that all players have been used to the conditions.
Rizwan has scored 225 runs in six Tests at an average of 32.14 which has one fifty.