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Saqlain Mushtaq-Pakistan Coach (Photo ANI)
Saqlain Mushtaq-Pakistan Coach (Photo ANI)

Rizwan fit to play remainder of Asia Cup, says Pakistan Head Coach

ANI | Updated: Sep 07, 2022 18:35 IST

Sharjah [UAE], September 7 (ANI): Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq has said that wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who had suffered an injury in his knee during the Super Four match with India, has been cleared by the medical team to play in the remaining matches of the tournament.
Saqlain told the media that Rizwan is fit and a replacement is not required at the moment.
"These things happen, Pakistan is not that far from UAE, if we have such a situation we can call backup but there's no need as of now. Rizwan's workload is a lot and we will look to manage it. For now, the medical team has given him the green signal," said the legendary spinner.
Talking about the team's strategy in the match against India he talked about the team opting to attack the batting and bowling mainstays of the opposition to inflict maximum damage.
"There are strategies in which you attack the main bowler or batsman as that jolts the flow of the team. India was clear on the strategy and came with a positive attitude but our bowlers bowled well with an attacking mindset and kept taking wickets. Our captain kept an attacking mindset and was successful. Bhuvneshwar was attacked as he had bowled well earlier and was important to take him on and our batters executed it well."
The Pakistan head coach defended Fakhar Zaman for his performance in the match and said he is a proven match player. He also mentioned that Hasan Ali is an integral part of the team but is being given rest to manage the workload.
"Fakhar is a warrior type of person, his past performances speak of it, he is a match winner. And we have no doubt over him and he will return performances. Hassan Ali has been the world number one in the white ball format and has performed well with red ball as well for us. He is with us and due to the rest policy he was given rest but he is a proven match winner and will use him when required," said the former player.
Pakistan's head coach also talked about their mindset for the Afghanistan match.
"We cannot write off any team in T20, especially Afghanistan. The way they have played cricket and registered two wins in the first stage beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is incredible."
Appreciating the Pakistan captain and defending him for his low scores in the Asia Cup so far, he said, "Babar is a world-class player, he has not scored in the past 2-3 matches but we don't have any doubts regarding him".
"His performance has been not an issue for us. We do not listen to outside noise and we don't need to change anything, either Babar's position or the team's."
The former spinner appreciated Virat Kohli's performance in the Asia Cup and said that he is a proven player and the Indian batter's return to form makes him happy.
Crediting Mohammad Nawaz for his performance he said, " Nawaz's performance is not a surprise as he has been performing consistently in domestic cricket. Imad was there in the team and hence he wasn't getting opportunities."
Talking about the team's chances of winning the Asia Cup, he said, "T20 is unpredictable, dressing room environment is important, on and off the field we have good vibes, the boys are enjoying and we are hopeful that we will win playing the best cricket."
Afghanistan will take on Pakistan in the fourth match of the Super Four stage of the Aisa Cup on Wednesday at the Sharjah Stadium. The match is crucial for Afghanistan as they suffered a loss in their first match against Sri Lanka, and a loss in this match might bring their campaign to a halt. Afghanistan is placed in the fourth spot in the Super Four matches.
Pakistan will look to carry on their momentum to cement its place in the final of the Asia Cup over a win against Afghanistan. Pakistan is currently placed in the second position with two points from one match. (ANI)