Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan is not too bothered about all the concerns regarding his and Babar Azam's strike rate in the shortest format of the game. Rizwan, who recently captained Multan Sultans to the PSL title, said he is happy with the way him and Azam have gone about their business at the top order for Pakistan in T20Is.
"We've never felt an issue with Babar's strike rate. When he goes big he generally has a strike rate over 140. People talk about our strike rate but do remember we chased down 200, just the two of us, so our strike rate can't be that bad. There was an issue with the middle order, but we have more personnel coming in, so hopefully, that should be resolved now," said Rizwan.
The 29-year-old has been in phenomenal form of late. Rizwan has slammed 619 runs in his last 11 T20Is and has carried his bat in five of his last 10 innings. Rizwan (500 runs at 127.9) and Azam (554 runs at 132.5) were the two leading run-scorers in the recently concluded PSL 2021 but were criticised for their strike rate.
Pakistan have picked stroke-makers like Fakhar Zaman, Sharjeel Khan and Sohaib Maqsood for the tour of England but it would be interesting to see how they fit them at the top. The Men in Green are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is against England in July.
"We don't have any issue in the top order. We're all settled in our positions, and the only problems we had were in our middle order. If you look at Maqsood in the Karachi leg, he played lower down, and he plays lower down in domestic cricket too. The calibre of player he is, he can easily adjust to any position. When it comes to me or Babar changing our position for the sake of the team, we will of course be ready to sacrifice."
Rizwan said that he is not "desperate for captaincy" and just wants to support Azam. "I don't think about captaincy, because my job is to focus as a player. I have never been desperate for captaincy. I'm the vice-captain, and whenever the captain needs help, I am happy to do it.
"Babar is one of the leading captains right now, and if you look at our past series, he's made some brilliant decisions. Even if three or four players put our heads together, his clarity of thought rose above it all. I don't feel the pressure this way, and I enjoy my importance to the team. I relish the fact I am considered one of the main players of the team."
Pakistan have won their last five T20I series and Rizwan is confident that they will do well against the top-ranked T20I side. "We have played well in England over history. We have won home and away off late so we go in with a lot of confidence. If you look at the touch our top players are going into this series with, we'll plug our weaknesses and you'll find a very different side in a good way. It'll be a good contest because our morale is very high too."