Shoaib Akhtar recently highlighted how Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan has suffered from cramps during matches on multiple occasions now.
Rizwan delivered an exceptional batting performance against Sri Lanka in the ongoing 2023 World Cup in Hyderabad on Tuesday. While he visibly looked in pain due to cramps, he continued batting and ended up scoring a match-winning century.
The right-handed batter remained unbeaten on 131, helping Pakistan chase down a record-breaking 345-run target in 48.2 overs with six wickets in hand.
Akhtar noted that Rizwan getting cramps was understandable as he kept wickets for 50 overs. The former speedster, however, pointed out that Team India’s KL Rahul also did the same, that too in very hot conditions in Chennai against Australia.
Rahul stole the show with his defiant knock against Australia, scoring an unbeaten 97 to take Rohit Sharma and company to a six-wicket victory.
“Mohammad Rizwan gets cramps very often. I can understand that you are not a very big unit, and it is very demanding on the body to keep wickets for 50 overs and then score a hundred. But KL Rahul also kept wickets in Chennai heat and almost scored a hundred,” Akhtar said in his latest YouTube video.
Akhtar also reserved high praise for Mohammad Rizwan, lauding him for batting till the end. He added (2:56):
“Mohammad Rizwan took Pakistan home with a brilliant knock. The way he batted in the second half of his innings was very crucial. The way he scored after crossing 70 was very heartwarming to see. He played for his country and made sure they won.”
It is worth mentioning that Pakistan created history with their win over Sri Lanka, setting the record for the highest-ever successful run chase in ODI World Cups.
“What a great superstar he is” – Shoaib Akhtar on Abdullah Shafique
Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique replaced senior batter Fakhar Zaman in the playing XI for their clash against Sri Lanka. The decision worked out well for them as the youngster notched up his maiden ODI ton.
Shafique played a crucial knock of 113 runs and formed a stunning 176-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Rizwan.
Reacting to the batter’s stellar knock, Shoaib Akhtar said (1:16):
“Abdullah Shafique played a chanceless innings. Had he batted longer, Pakistan would have won the game with a lot of overs to spare. What a great superstar he is! A hundred on World Cup debut; you cannot ask for a better start.”
Pakistan are off to an impressive start in the 2023 World Cup. With back-to-back wins in their first two matches, they currently occupy the second spot in the points table.