Aakash Chopra has expressed his admiration for Mohammad Rizwan’s ability to excel in challenging situations for the Pakistan cricket team.
In a recent Super Four clash of the Asia Cup 2023 against Bangladesh in Lahore, Pakistan faced a target of 194 runs. Mohammad Rizwan took charge of the innings and played an outstanding unbeaten knock of 63 runs from 79 deliveries. This performance played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s successful pursuit of the target with seven wickets in hand and 63 balls to spare.
Chopra, sharing his thoughts on the game via a video on his YouTube channel, showered praise on Rizwan, commending his resilience and ability to perform under pressure. He stated, “Mohammad Rizwan – I’m a big fan of this player. He’s a true fighter, and he thrives under pressure. Whether it’s T20Is, ODIs, or Tests, whenever Pakistan faces adversity, he steps up.”
The former Indian opener emphasized Rizwan’s versatility against both spin and pace bowling.
He elaborated, “In this match, he stayed till the end and secured the victory for his team. He executed some excellent sweeps and confidently stepped out of his crease to hit over the cover. Rizwan handles spin exceptionally well and possesses a great pick-up shot against fast bowlers. In essence, Mohammad Rizwan is an exceptional player.”
During his innings, Rizwan struck seven boundaries and a six. His crucial innings came after Pakistan lost the early wicket of Babar Azam and relied on him to anchor the innings. Rizwan formed an essential 85-run partnership with Imam-ul-Haq and remained unbeaten to guide Pakistan to victory.
Chopra highlighted Imam-ul-Haq’s fortunes in the middle, noting that he had some luck on his side. He explained, “Imam-ul-Haq had a stroke of luck as the margin of error was minimal. There were LBW appeals on two occasions, both of which were reviewed, but the ball was found to be marginally outside the leg stump.”
While acknowledging that Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman did not contribute significantly, the former cricketer-turned-commentator praised Imam-ul-Haq for his technically sound batting.
He noted, “Those were exceptional deliveries. Imam-ul-Haq was beaten comprehensively. Taskin Ahmed dismissed Babar Azam, and Fakhar Zaman also fell. Later, Imam-ul-Haq got out with a poor shot, despite looking good. When Imam performs well, he exemplifies a technically sound batsman who handles spin effectively.”
Chopra also pointed out that virtually all Pakistan batsmen have had decent outings, including Iftikhar Ahmed, who scored a century against Nepal. He concluded by emphasizing that despite occasional discussions about a perceived vulnerability in the team, Pakistan remains a formidable side.
Aakash Chopra lauded Mohammad Rizwan’s resilience and versatility, highlighting his ability to thrive under pressure and excel against both spin and pace bowling.