All eyes are on the top players to perform in the knockout stages of the ICC T20 World Cup, which has advanced to the semifinal stage. The main differentiator for India has been the No. 4 hitter, Suryakumar Yadav, who has the ability to hit shots to all parts of the ground with a very high strike-rate. All critics have praised Surya, even former Pakistani cricketers. Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s former captain, offered some words of wisdom to Mohammad Rizwan, who has frequently faced criticism for his low strike rate, given that Pakistan is also in the semifinals and their openers are having trouble scoring runs in the competition.
The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rizwan was once asked by a reporter if he was willing to alter his playing style so that opposition bowlers couldn’t plan an attack against him. Rizwan replied that he would continue to play the way he does, the anchor of Samaa TV informed Afridi during the discussion. After citing Suryakumar Yadav as an example, the host questioned whether Rizwan should follow the Indian’s lead.
To this Afridi responded, “The most important thing about Suryakumar is that he has played 200-250 matches in domestic circuit before coming to international cricket. He knows his game. And he can target the good balls as well because he practises those shots. In this format, you need to evolve as a batter and develop your game.” Afridi noted that Rizwan, who is having difficulties, will need to take chances and play shots through the off side, thus he needs to practise those shots.
“We have already discussed this that every team does its homework before coming to a World Cup. For Rizwan, they’ve planned not to bowl him in the middle as he plays good shots towards deep square-leg and midwicket. He struggles towards the off-side. “He will have to come down the track and take risks. He will have to make gaps towards mid-off and extra-cover and for this he will have to practice these strokes,” Afridi said.