Tuesday Nov 24, 2020
KARACHI: Pakistan’s newly-appointed Test vice-captain and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan has set his eyes on big scores in Pakistan’s upcoming series against the kiwis next month.
Rizwan flew to New Zealand on Monday along with his teammates with an aim to continue in his current form.
Prior to his departure, Rizwan told Geo News that he’s eying to score in three figures in Test cricket for his team.
“I haven’t scored in three-figures yet in Test cricket and this is something I am aiming to achieve. My aim is to give my best and perform with my bat and gloves for my team in the upcoming series,” he shared.
Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Test matches in New Zealand next month. On the sidelines, Pakistan Shaheens will also play two 4-day games against New Zealand A on the tour.
Rizwan was recently named deputy of Babar Azam in the longer format. The wicket-keeper batsman said that he’s looking forward to playing efficiently and produce input that works for the better interests of the team.
“When you’re behind the wickets, you’re virtually a captain and you’ll have to keep guiding and keep motivating the team. So, being behind the wicket makes it easier for me.”
“I am sure having a top-class batsman like Babar Azam on commanding seat and an experienced Azhar Ali in the squad, there won’t be any missing on our side,” he hoped.
The 28-year-old wicket-keeper batsman from Peshawar made his Test debut in 2016 but then had to wait for three years to play his second test after getting a cap at Hamilton.
He became Pakistan’s number one choice as wicketkeeper after the former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was sidelined due to poor form in November 2019.
Rizwan said that during all these times, he never gave up, in fact, worked harder every time.
“I always believed that you get things at the right time, may be this was the right time for me,” he said when asked about how difficult it was for him to wait so long to become a regular keeper of Pakistan team.
“There’s only one wicket-keeper out of 220m people who stands behind the wickets for country and once you get a chance, you usually get it for a long term. Previously Sarfaraz Ahmed was playing and he was doing good before him it was Kamran and before him, there were others, that's how it goes.”
“What kept me motivated was the instinct and intensity of hard work that I was putting in, be it an international game or a club match, I kept making a same effort and same hard work and not a single time I thought of giving up,” he said about how he worked to keep himself fit when he wasn’t a regular part of the team.
Speaking about the challenge in New Zealand, Rizwan said that it is going to be a challenging series and players will have to double-up their efforts if they want to win in New Zealand.
“It is one of the most difficult series and the ongoing pandemic has affected our training routine and it will continue to do so due to our quarantine requirements. So we will have to double the efforts we are putting in,” he said.
“If we can manage to do that, then I am sure results will be on our side,” he concluded.