PAK vs NZ: Babar Azam vs Team Management vs Mohammad Rizwan! Another controversy erupts in Pakistan Cricket

Updated - 23 Apr 2024, 06:30 PM

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan [PC: X]

Pakistan Cricket Team is host to another internal controversy. As per the reports in Pakistan media, it is learned that all the happenings in the team have been because of the keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan's batting position in the team in the shortest format of the game. 

As per the reports it is learned that team management wants Mohammad Rizwan to bat at No.4 in the T20Is. However, skipper Babar Azam isn't keen on the decision. The captain wants the keeper-batter to bat at No.3 as he did in the last two T20Is against New Zealand. 

In another twist, it is learned that Mohammad Rizwan isn't happy with both team management and skipper Babar Azam. He isn't happy with his batting position either at 3 or 4. The reports claimed that the keeper-batter wants to open the innings, which he has done for most of his career. 

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam were one of the most consistent opening pair for the Pakistan Cricket Team in the T20Is. However, when Shaheen Afridi was named as the captain of the team the management changed the opening pair as Babar Azam was demoted to 3 with Rizwan and Saim Ayub opening. 

However, the opening combination of the team has seen another change. After Babar Azam was reappointed as the captain of the team, the captain promoted himself up the order and opened the innings in the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand. 

With Babar Azam going up the order, Mohammad Rizwan was demoted to No.3. The move so far has worked out as the keeper-batter played a magnificent innings of unbeaten 45 runs in the first game against New Zealand and took his team home to go 1-0 up in the five-match series. 

Mohammad Rizwan looked in decent touch in the third T20I as well. He managed 22 runs before getting retired out. With Pakistan opting keeper-batter to bat at no.3, it might well be an indication that they will follow the same batting order in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, to be played in the USA and the Caribbean in June this year. 

Mohammad Rizwan likely to be ruled out of the T20I series against New Zealand 

Mohammad Rizwan, who got retired hurt in the third T20I, is likely to miss the remaining games of the series. Head coach Azhar Mahmood revealed that keeper-batter had a niggle and they don't want to risk him for World Cup by playing him against New Zealand. Speaking to reporters, he explained: 

"If you would have seen, the boys really worked hard in the Kakul camp, body fatigue might also be there... About Rizwan, he had a niggle, and with the World Cup near, we have seen what kind of a fighter he is, so we did not want to aggravate his injury and miss him in the World Cup. 

"It was the same with Irfan, we pulled him out not because of him suddenly becoming unfit. We have received a setback with Azam too, so we hope he gets fit and joins Pakistan for the World Cup." 

The fourth T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand will take place on 25th April. The Babar Azam-led side would be keen to make a comeback after facing a horrific loss in the third game.


Mohammad Rizwan Pakistan national cricket team NZ vs PAK Babar Azam