Afridi's stunning '...but Rizwan is our main wicketkeeper' remark after Sarfaraz century saves Pakistan from defeat

Jan 07, 2023 07:51 AM IST

After Sarfaraz Ahmed's ton in the second Test against New Zealand, Pakistan's interim chief selector Shahid Afridi made a stunning remark on the former captain and brought in Mohammad Rizwan in the drama.

Sarfaraz Ahmed announced his comeback with a gritty century as Pakistan managed to draw the second Test match on Day 4 vs New Zealand, in Karachi on Friday. The former captain hammered 118 runs off 176 balls, packed with nine fours and a six as Pakistan posted 304 for nine ending the match in a draw with the visitors one wicket away and the hosts 15 short of their 319 target.

Shahid Afridi spoke about Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan's wicketkeeping roles for Pakistan.
Shahid Afridi spoke about Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan's wicketkeeping roles for Pakistan.

Sarfaraz lost his wicket in the 87th over, gloving a delivery to Kane Williamson at leg slip for a fine diving catch as Pakistan reached 287 for nine. Sarfaraz, who filled in as his side's wicketkeeper-batter instead of Mohammad Rizwan, will be hoping to grab a spot in the upcoming 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup. But his hopes could be dashed as interim chief selector Shahid Afridi feels Rizwan is the side's main wicketkeeper and asked fans not to mix Test cricket with ODIs. Sarfaraz has not been named in the squad for the three-match ODI series vs New Zealand.

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During a press conference, Afridi said, "I’m very happy that Saifi has made a comeback and given such an amazing performance, but Mohammad Rizwan is available and he is our main wicket-keeper in both T20Is and ODIs."

"God forbid if Rizwan gets injured or if he’s tired, we’ll then consider other options. Let’s not mix someone’s Test performance with that of limited overs."

Further revealing that there are other options in the wicketkeeping department in limited overs cricket, Afridi pointed out at Mohammad Haris. "We have Haris and we’re grooming him. He’ll be sent on Pakistan A tours. He’s a very good option in T20Is if Rizwan is not available", he said.

In 51 Tests, Sarfaraz has slammed 2992 runs, packed with four hundreds and 21 half-centuries. His 118-knock is also his highest score in Test cricket. Meanwhile, he has grabbed 2315 runs in 117 ODIs with a high score of 105. In ODI cricket, he has registered two tons, 11 fifties. In 61 T20Is, he has bagged 818 runs, with a high score of 89 and three fifties.

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