‘I’ve never seen anything like it’: Mohammad Rizwan believes England won’t find batting easy on Southampton wicket
The second day of the match got off to a delayed start due to rain. In the first session, only 15 overs were bowled and Babar Azam and Rizwan managed to survive that period.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 11:53 IST
Pakistan gained a foothold into the second Test match due to a gritty knock from wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan. At the end of Day 1, Pakistan were tottering at 126/5 and it looked like England bowlers could strike early in overcast conditions on Day 2. But Babar Azam and Rizwan stuck together to play out the first session. Azam departed soon but Rizwan stayed on till the end of the day to take Pakistan to a score of 223/9.
He is batting on 60 with fast bowler Naseem Shah on the other end. Batting at the Rose Bowl hasn’t been an easy task for the Pakistani batsmen and Rizwan said England would also not find batting easy on the wicket in Southampton.
For England, James Anderson and Stuart Broad have scalped three wickets each.
“They were difficult conditions, not too dissimilar to some of the wickets in the north in Pakistan. Places like Abbottabad and Peshawar, particularly. But this was the first time in my career I saw the ball seam after 75 overs, right until they took the new ball. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’ll be very difficult for England, too. They won’t find batting easy,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Rizwan as saying.
The second day of the match got off to a delayed start due to rain. In the first session, only 15 overs were bowled and Babar Azam and Rizwan managed to survive that period.
However, in the second session, Azam (47) was dismissed by Stuart Broad, and from there, wickets fell in a cluster, and Rizwan had to take on the charge.
“When we had Babar with me, I was being compact. But when he got out and the tail came in, I knew I would have to go searching for the runs. In this format, you have these phases. At times, you have to stay calm and work hard to preserve your wicket. It would be silly to throw your wicket away when you have Babar alongside you, but the situation changed when he got out. When the tail came in, I attacked, and that worked out very nicely,” Rizwan said.
“This was a new experience for me. When I play domestic cricket, I bat in the top five, so here, batting with the tail was a learning process for me. When we were coming on and off due to rain and bad light, I spoke to Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, and they gave me plenty of advice on how to play. But to negotiate the situation batting with the tail, and how to build up the innings for myself and the team, is very much a learning process and this was a good start,” he added.
The wicket-keeper batsman also believes that if the side manages to add 30-40 more runs to their total, then the side would have a fighting chance in the match.
We have fought back and our position is decent. If we add 30-40 runs, we have lots of chances. Even if we don’t, and get them out within our own score, the match is on. You look at our bowlers, and they did the job for us in Manchester. England had the fortune on that final day, but our bowlers did a very good job,” Rizwan said.
“We expect them to repeat that here, given the ball seamed all the time for England. They had a bit of good fortune in that when we kept coming off, they got a bit of rest between their spells, allowing them to bowl longer spells. But our bowlers are young and capable, and we expect to contain them within our total,” he added.
Pakistan had lost the first Test against England by three wickets, and if the side wants to win the series, then the side has to win the second Test.
(with ANI inputs)