Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammed Rizwan on Monday revealed that he would bat at number four instead of his current position, number five in the ODIs, with which he is not pleased but is doing for the sake of his side. Speaking at the press conference before the third ODI against New Zealand, a candid Mohammad Rizwan revealed his preferred batting position in the 50-over format. Rizwan has played a crucial role in Pakistan being 2-0 up in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand. In both games, the hosts were tasked with chasing and Rizwan remained unbeaten each time to guide his team home.
Batting at No.5, Rizwan calmly stroked a 34-ball 42* while chasing 289 to win in the first ODI and followed it up with an unbeaten half-century (54* off 41) as Pakistan hunted down a solid target of 337 in the next match.
However, the ever-so-candid Rizwan revealed that he was not pleased to be batting at No.5 and would rather bat at No.4, adding that he is happy to sacrifice his position for the sake of the team.
“If you ask me honestly, I am not happy batting at number five [in ODIs]because I want to bat at number four,” Rizwan said at the press conference as quoted by ICC.
“But it is not important that I get what I want. The captain and coach will do what they like. It is my own wish to bat at number four. But I have not complained to anyone. I have been sacrificing for the last 15 or 16 years and still not complaining. We are ready to do what the captain and coach ask us to do.”
The wicketkeeper batter has always been a team man, evidenced by the fact that he has played in all middle and lower-order positions in ODIs, right from No.4 to No.8. Having made his debut in 2015, Rizwan started off at No.6 but has established himself in the team, he made the No.4 spot his own since 2019.
Prior to the series, Rizwan had extremely meagre returns batting at No.5, scoring just 106 runs in 6 games at an average of 17.66. However, the 30-year-old seems to have gotten a grip on his new role with match-winning contributions in both games against New Zealand.
At number four in ODIs, he has scored 135 runs in six matches and five innings at an average of 33.75, with a century. He has been highly successful as the first batter, scoring 463 at an average of 51.44 in 14 matches with four half-centuries and a strike rate of over 87.
Despite being 2-0 up, Pakistan cannot afford to be complacent in the five-match ODI series. The hosts were in a similar position in the T20I series in Rawalpindi before New Zealand mounted a brilliant comeback to level the series 2-2.
The action now shifts to Karachi and according to Rizwan, the team is keen to wrap up the series and not have a repeat of the T20Is.
“Every game is important to us,” Rizwan noted. “We want to forget the past, the good and the bad. The conditions and requirements in Rawalpindi were different. We will assess and adapt [to the conditions of Karachi] and look to win the series. That will be our focus,” concluded the batter.
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