Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Rizwan rescued Pakistan at 80-6 and helped them avert first inning follow-on against New Zealand on Day 3 of the opening Test.
The right-left hand combination worked for Pakistan when they needed it the most and the duo put 107 runs together for the seventh-wicket partnership before Rizwan went run-out during a risky two-runs effort.
Rizwan smashed 71 runs off 148 balls with the help of eight boundaries whereas Faheem continued till the end and scored 91 runs laced with 15 boundaries and a six.
Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan has heaped praise on Mohammad Rizwan, after his superb 71-run knock helped Pakistan avoid follow-on in the ongoing first Test against New Zealand.
Rizwan, who is leading Pakistan in Babar Azam’s absence, reminded him of himself, Khan said, especially when it came to the 28-year-old overcoming early-career struggles to bounce back:
“When I see him, I see him, like me, struggling first and then regathering myself to find my game. It isn’t just about this Test match… even in the T20 series, when he was struggling in the first two games, it was like me struggling, and then I get to know my game and have to change a little accordingly.
“So my advice was very simple for him to play his natural game. You just go and spend some time at the pitch and things will suddenly start coming to you. He did in the third T20 and he has taken his form into the Test series. He knows his role, his strengths and weaknesses. He is a captain as well and with the runs he is leading from the front.”
“Mohammad Rizwan played like a mature and senior player and if he continues playing like this, it will benefit Pakistan a lot,” the Pakistan batting great said.
“A captain’s own performance is very crucial during a match because it helps him take good decisions on the field.”
While talking about Faheem Ashraf he said that: “Faheem Ashraf has the potential to become the allrounder we need.”
“We need player like Faheem Ashraf, because it’s not possible to play in the subcontinent all the time,” Khan said.
“It’s not just me, but other coaches, especially Waqar Younis, who was very keen to give him more chances in Test cricket. He offers us something we have been missing since Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood (retired). Batting is all about patience and he is improving with every passing day, and he has all the potential in him to become the allrounder we need.”