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  5. 'Difficulty arises when...': Rizwan reacts to management breaking his opening partnership with Babar Azam

'Difficulty arises when...': Rizwan reacts to management breaking his opening partnership with Babar Azam

Pakistan lost to New Zealand in the fourth T20I of the five-match series and now have gone down in the series 0-4. After failing to chase in the first three matches, they got to bat first this time but they managed to post a below-par total of 158 runs and eventually lost.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: January 19, 2024 19:24 IST
mohammad rizwan, babar azam
Image Source : GETTY Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan

All is not well in Pakistan cricket at the moment. Post the World Cup debacle, everything changed including the management and captains across all formats too. But results have continued to go against them with no wins in seven international matches now. Shaheen Afridi, the newly appointed T20I captain, is facing the heat with four consecutive losses in New Zealand. The visitors tried a youngster Saim Ayub at the top demoting Babar Azam to number three in the T20I series and the move has massively failed.

Ayub hasn't been able to accumulate runs with scores of 27, 1, 10 and 1 so far in the series. On the flip side, former captain Babar has continued to score runs with three half-centuries in four outings. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan clicked for the first time in the series at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch scoring an unbeaten 90 off 63 balls. After the fourth loss of the series, he was asked whether changes at the top of the order especially breaking his opening partnership with Babar has affected the team.

Responding to the question, Rizwan didn't say anything directly but the required message was conveyed. "I can say that Babar bhai has a big heart. We both agreed that there is no issue [in splitting the opening pair]. We both told the management that they can try whatever combination they want. The difficulty arises when you break things that were already working well. However, management is looking at what can be extracted best from different combinations," he said.

The fifth and final T20I between New Zealand and Pakistan is scheduled to take place on January 21 in Christchurch again. The visitors will be looking to avoid the 5-0 embarrassment even as Glenn Phillips of the Kiwis has cleared that they won't be taking the foot off the pedal and will go for the jugular. "We would love to go 5-0 against Pakistan. We go again and we won't take anything for granted on Sunday," he said.

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