Should Rizwan Continue as Opener in T20Is Despite Low Strike Rate?

Should Rizwan Continue as Opener in T20Is Despite Low Strike Rate?
Should Rizwan Continue as Opener in T20Is Despite Low Strike Rate?
Should Rizwan Continue as Opener in T20Is Despite Low Strike Rate?

Mohammad Rizwan, the tough wicket-keeper batsman for Pakistan, has been among the most reliable players in T20 cricket during the past 12 months. As a result of his heroics at the top of the order, Rizwan has risen to the top of the ICC T20I batter rankings. His efforts have assisted Pakistan in achieving some historic triumphs.

Rizwan has been remarkably consistent, but Pakistan’s failure to take advantage of the powerplay has been a concerning development, and his sluggish starts have cost the team dearly, as was evident in last night’s 2022 Asia Cup final. Even though Rizwan was able to produce yet another half-century, Pakistan was ultimately defeated because they left a little too late to take on the Sri Lankan bowlers due to his poor strike rate.

Babar Azam’s terrible run of form and Rizwan’s sluggish starts put a lot of strain on Pakistan’s middle order, which led to numerous batting failures. Pakistan’s dismal batting display in the tournament’s championship match was not an isolated incident; they were consistently underwhelmed, with their sole reliable innings coming in the Super 4s against India and Hong Kong.

The 30-year-lifetime-old’s T20I strike rate is just barely within the parameters of the contemporary format at 127.07. He can consistently bat long, there is no question about that, but one area of his game that could use some work is knowing when to change gears.

Rizwan once again hit with a strike rate of 139.21 to help Pakistan chase down a target of 182 as they met India once more, this time in the Super 4s stage. Since that game, Rizwan’s strike rates in three games have been 76.92, 100.00, and 112.24. If not for Naseem Shah’s heroics with the bat, Pakistan would have lost both of the three games against Afghanistan and two of the three matches overall.

Stick With Rizwan as an Opener

The debate is whether Rizwan should remain the national T20I team’s opener or whether a more offensive option should take his position. In my opinion, Pakistan should continue to use Rizwan as their opener because he is not solely to blame for his sluggish start.

There are a few things to take into account. First of all, Rizwan’s situation is not helped by Pakistan’s flimsy middle order and early wicket losses, which drive him to retreat into his shell and focus on preventing wickets rather than raising the run rate. Second, the national team management’s approach needs to be changed because they prefer to hit huge runs at the end rather than using the powerplay and scoring a lot early.

The debate is whether Rizwan should remain the national T20I team’s opener or whether a more offensive option should take his position. In my opinion, Pakistan should continue to use Rizwan as their opener because he is not solely to blame for his sluggish start.

There are a few things to take into account. First of all, Rizwan’s situation is not helped by Pakistan’s flimsy middle order and early wicket losses, which drive him to retreat into his shell and focus on preventing wickets rather than raising the run rate. Second, the national team management’s approach needs to be changed because they prefer to hit huge runs at the end rather than using the powerplay and scoring a lot early.

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