Pakistan coach Saqlain backs Babar and Rizwan after Asia Cup loss

Pakistan coach Saqlain backs Babar and Rizwan after Asia Cup loss

Cricket – Asia Cup – Final – Pakistan v Sri Lanka – Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – September 11, 2022 Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan in action REUTERS/Christopher Pike

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DUBAI, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq dismissed concerns about captain Babar Azam’s form and found nothing wrong with opener Mohammad Rizwan’s batting approach after their loss to Sri Lanka in Sunday’s Asia Cup final in Dubai.

Babar, currently the second ranked Twenty20 (T20) batsman in the world behind team mate Rizwan, managed only 68 runs in six innings and his form would be a concern ahead of the 20-overs World Cup in Australia beginning next month.

“If someone looks at his batting, you’d just say he’s unlucky, especially the way he’s getting out,” Saqlain said after their 23-run defeat by Sri Lanka. read more

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“It’s just a patch. If you look at the rankings, he’s (among the) top in T20 International and in ODIs. It was just bad luck. It’s amazing to see how he trains and plays.

“His work ethic is top notch. “

Babar’s opening partner Rizwan topscored for Pakistan with 55 off 49 balls in Sunday’s final but his traditional approach to batting appeared ill-suited for the 20-overs format.

“Every team and player have their own style and methods,” former test spinner Saqlain said.

“It’s not compulsory that you do what the rest of the world is doing … His approach is not wrong. “

Saqlain also dismissed suggestions of a left-right opening combination of Fakhar Zaman with either Babar or Rizwan.

“If you keep shuffling, it sends a message that you don’t trust them,” he said.

“You need to give them time. It is not a good idea to shuffle around a lot. It sends a bad message. “

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Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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