Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan after Asia Cup loss

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Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan after Asia Cup loss
Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan after Asia Cup loss

Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq backs Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan after Asia Cup loss

Asia Cup 2022: After Pakistan’s defeat to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final on Sunday in Dubai, head coach Saqlain Mushtaq downplayed worries about skipper Babar Azam‘s performance and found nothing wrong with opener Mohammad Rizwan’s batting strategy.

Babar, who is presently ranked second among Twenty20 (T20) batsmen in the world behind teammate Rizwan, scored just 68 runs in six innings, and his performance is cause for concern as the 20-over World Cup, which starts next month in Australia, approaches.

“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.

“It’s just a patch. If you look at the rankings, he’s (among the) top in T20 International and in ODIs. It’s just been bad luck. The way he’s training and playing it’s amazing.

“His work ethic is top notch.”

In the final on Sunday, Rizwan, Babar’s opening partner, hit the most runs for Pakistan with 55 off 49 balls, but his conventional batting style seemed inappropriate for the 20-over 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 rejected ideas of pairing Fakhar Zaman with either Babar or Rizwan in a left-right opening combination.

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

“You need to give them time. Also t’s not good to shuffle a lot. It sends a wrong message.”