Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan has been on fire lately. Since his return to Test cricket since 2019 Australia tour, Mohammad Rizwan has established himself as a solid wicket-keeper batsman for Pakistan.
During the Australia tour in 2019, Rizwan scored the highest individual score by Pakistan wicket-keeper with his brilliant 95 in Brisbane. He overtook Sarfraz Ahmed’s 72 in 2016-’17 tour of Australia. He was the third-highest run-scorer for Pakistan, after Babar Azam and Yasir Shah.
Since then, Mohammad Rizwan has been brilliant with the bat as well as his keeping skills has been very acrobatic. He scored runs in England and New Zealand, where it is the most difficult for an Asian batsmen to manage.
In the England series in 2020, second Test match, Rizwan was awarded Man of the Match award for his knock of 72 where the match was drawn. He became the first overseas wicket-keeper to get Man of the Match award in tests played in England since Adam Gilchrist in 2001 and only the 4th in the history after Jeff Dujon (1988), Ian Healy (1997) and Adam Gilchrist (2001).
Rizwan was praised by former player like Michael Atherton and Michael Holding. Atherton said that he is the ‘keeper of the summer in terms of glove-work.’
“Out of all the foreign wicket-keepers that have come to England, I think he’s been the best for a long long time – he was outstanding” – Nasser Hussain said on Mohammad Rizwan
Rizwan was awarded the player of the series by England’s coach Chris Silverwood. As a result, he became the first Pakistan wicket-keeper to be awarded the Player of the series.
Then in New Zealand series, leading Pakistan for the very first time, he scored 202 runs at an average of 50 and was the third-highest run-scorer. This also included his fourth straight fifty as well, starting from the second Test in England series.
In these tours, Mohammad Rizwan averaged 45 in 540 runs he has scored. The average is better than all the Pakistan wicket-keepers have played. He has risen well and is considered to be the underrated wicket-keeper lately.
Has Mohammad Rizwan finished Sarfraz Ahmed’s international career?
It is a question fans have been asking since the England series, which proved further in the New Zealand series. Though former captain of Pakistan who led the side to Champions Trophy victory, Sarfraz Ahmed is there with the team, but hardly gets the game. He only represented one match, against England in the third T20I where Pakistan won.
Sarfraz is now mostly a back-up wicket-keeper now. There were thoughts that Sarfraz may be considered to play T20I matches for Pakistan, given his quick playing style as compared to Rizwan. However, Rizwan as opener rose in that area as well and he scored 89 in the third T20I match, equalling Sarfraz Ahmed’s record for highest score by wicket-keeper in T20I match.
Sarfraz is not completely finished as the management still takes him for the series as a back-up wicket-keeper. But given the fitness of Rizwan and the more he is rising, Sarfraz is well finished to represent Pakistan again.
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