New Delhi: Saqlain Mushtaq, the head coach of Pakistan, backed Mohammad Rizwan’s batting against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final. Sri Lanka scored 170 runs to give Pakistan a target of 171 runs. Rizwan scored 55 runs off 49 balls as the Sri Lankan bowlers kept on applying pressure and made the chase more difficult for Pakistani batters, also ensuring the run rate kept on increasing.
Sri Lanka lifted their sixth Asia Cup trophy on Sunday, as they won summit clash against Pakistan by 23 runs. Rizwan’s inning was slammed by a lot of critics, with the likes of Shoaib Akhtar hitting out against the wicketkeeper in a tweet stating that his approach would not work anymore if he keeps on playing like this.
“This combination is not working. Pakistan has to look into a lot of things. Fakhar, Iftikhar, and Khushdil all need to be looked into. And Rizwan, 50 of 50 is not going to work anymore. Doesn’t benefit Pakistan. Hats off to Sri Lanka. What a team,” stated Shoaib Akhtar in his tweet.
Pakistan coach Mushtaq defended Rizwan and said that it is easy to comment from outside. He went on to say that the critics saw the result and passed their judgment on the wicketkeeper.
“Unki Soch hai, Jo bahar log baithe hote hai na, wo bahar se cheezon ko dekhte hai aur uskey upar baat kar dete hai (Easy to comment from outside, one gets to know only when they are part of the team),” said Mushtaq replying to critics.
“It’s not their mistake. They saw the result, and scorecard and made their comments. They have no idea about what is happening inside the dressing room, what the players feel about their confidence, and the injuries they are carrying.
“I have worked as an expert for three years. So, I know how things worked. Once they work closely with the cricketers from inside only then they will get to know about the team bonding, the environment,” said Mushtaq.
Pakistan 🇵🇰 head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq is impressed with @BhanukaRajapak3’s performance in the DP World #AsiaCup 2022 final. He talks about the unpredictable nature of T20Is, and revisiting Pakistan’s strategy 💪🏼 with a 360 approach.#SLvPAK #ACC #GetReadyForEpic #AsiaCup2022 pic.twitter.com/zd4da2a57Z
— AsianCricketCouncil (@ACCMedia1) September 11, 2022
Saqlain Mushtaq also praised Sri Lankan player Rajapaksa quoting that “I’ll credit the Sri Lankans. We’d broken their backbone in the first nine overs, but the way Rajapaksa played, and the others rallied around him, no praise is enough. I’m sure it should be the best innings of his [Rajapaksa’s] life. The way he lifted them, hats off.”