Sports News

Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam, Rizwan after 23-run Asia Cup final defeat

Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan after the 23-run Asia Cup final defeat against Sri Lanka.

He dismissed concerns about captain Babar Azam’s form who was unable to perform with the bat and also found nothing wrong with opener Mohammad Rizwan’s batting approach.

“Everyone has their own style of playing cricket. We made the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup last year and now the final of the Asia Cup, so the evidence suggests we are doing something right,” Saqlain Mushtaq said.

Captain Babar Azam managed only to score only 68 runs in six innings at the Asia Cup, and his form concerns the Pakistan cricket fans ahead of the 20-overs World Cup in Australia beginning next month.

“If someone looks at his batting, you’d just say he’s unlucky, especially the way he’s getting out,” the head coach Saqlain said.

“It’s just a patch. If you look at the rankings, he’s (among the) top in T20 International and in ODIs. It’s just been bad luck. The way he’s training and playing it’s amazing,” he said, adding,  “His work ethic is top notch.”

Talking about Mohammad Rizwan who has been the top-scored for Pakistan with 55 off 49 balls in Sunday’s final but his traditional approach to batting appeared ill-suited for the 20-overs format.

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“Every team and player have their own style and methods,” Saqlain said backing Rizwan’s approach.

“It’s not compulsory that you do what the rest of the world is doing […] his approach is not wrong,” he added.

The head coach also dismissed suggestions of a left-right opening combination of Fakhar Zaman with either Babar or Rizwan.

“If you keep shuffling, it sends a message that you don’t trust them,” he said.

“You need to give them time. It’s not good to shuffle a lot. It sends a wrong message,” Saqlain maintained.

 

NewsDesk

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