Tuesday, May 02, 2023

'Criticism valid': Rizwan breaks silence on personal milestones controversy

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan has said that "personal milestones" don't bother him and that he is not focused on such achievements.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the third ODI against New Zealand on May 3, Rizwan said: "For me, personal milestones don't matter. What matters is the plan which is given to us by the captain. Our captain always asks us to perform and that is the only thing that matters to us. Everyone has their opinion and we respect that."

The wicketkeeper-batter suffered massive criticism after Pakistan lost the last T20I against New Zealand on April 24 in Rawalpindi.

Rizwan scored 98 not out as Pakistan posted 193-5 in 20 overs. However, fans and followers noticed that Rizwan slowed down while nearing his second T20I century. Pakistan could only score 28 runs in the last three overs.

In the last over of the innings, Imad Wasim tried to take a single to give Rizwan, who was batting on 98, a strike so that he could get to his hundred. 

Fans and followers of the game didn't like this mindset.

While explaining this matter during the press conference, Rizwan said the message from the dressing room was that something around 180 would be good enough to win the match.

"We came out from a phase where we were 50-3. The message we got from the dressing was that something around 180 would be good on this pitch. So, our discussion was to score runs accordingly," he shared.

"There was no conversation about taking a single. When we were near 190, Imad said it was good enough on this pitch and that's why he went for a single there," he recalled.

Imad tried to take a single on the fourth delivery of the last over but unluckily got run out. In the end, Rizwan also couldn't complete his century.

"Had we won, no one would have criticised us. Still, we accept that it was our mistake and the criticism is on point," he maintained.

"Also, we remained unlucky as there was a due factor and also we misfielded quite often. We lost, that's why we are facing a lot of questions," he added.

"I don't focus on personal milestones. I am sure Fakhar Zaman was also not thinking about his 3,000 runs. Maybe, he had something about this at the back of his mind, but I am not sure," he clarified at the press conference.