The ‘Purple patch’ in the career of a Cricketer is a relatively short period of time wherein he is propelled to accomplish feats that at other times would qualify only as figments of imagination. Moreover, individual performances charter another special trail when a team’s fortunes suddenly take on a splendid ascent just because of a player and his golden run.
Sachin Tendulkar’s rich vein of form during 1996-97 elevated India and thereby the Indian fans were treated to some special team performances in that epoch.
Australia’s tour to England in 1981 is remembered for Ian Botham’s heroics which made England achieve the improbable, beat Australia despite being 1-0 down in the Test series.
So, the narrative is quite conspicuous and is bound to be widely accepted by all.
Mohammad Rizwan and his superb form are acting as the catalyst for Pakistan’s renewed form in at least two of the formats.
It is a unique proposition to score one’s maiden hundreds in Tests and T20’S in the same series.
He recently achieved this unique feat during Pakistan’s recent historical victory over South Africa.
Mohammad Rizwan played a characteristically obdurate innings against South Africa in the second and last Test Match at Rawalpindi and killed South Africa’s hopes of restricting Pakistan to a low score. He scored 115 spirited runs under difficult circumstances; countering the threat of Reverse Swing and sharp turn with aplomb. The 93 run partnership with Nauman Ali gave ample evidence of Rizwan’s ability to stay calm and take calculated risks while batting with the tail enders.
In less than a week’s time, he was seen opening the innings in the first T20 against the same opposition and played a breathtaking knock of 104 off 64 deliveries. It was just the second instance of a Pakistani batsman scoring an international T20I hundred. Therefore, he carried the weight of Pakistan’s innings even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
His innings was decorated by powerful stroke play especially down the ground. Interestingly, he never scored a 50 in his first 17 T20 innings but now has two consecutive scores of more than 50 runs.
In the first T20I, Rizwan’s spectacular innings was equally matched by his brilliant and acrobatic wicket keeping skills. The run out of Reeza Hendricks, the top scorer for South Africa was the turning point in the tense encounter. He rightly emerged as the Man of the Match and exemplified both his batting prowess and dexterity behind the stumps.
His start to International Cricket wasn’t encouraging as he got out for a duck in his maiden innings against New Zealand in 2016. A series of low scores especially in limited over format hastened his ouster from the team.
But, the recent surge in his performances has promised of lending tremendous depth to Pakistan. With the T20 World Cup slated to be held later this year, some more strong performances by Rizwan can make Pakistan feel confident of their chances in the marquee tournament.
Rizwan is now the only wicket keeper batsman after Brendon McCullum to hit a century in all the three formats of the game.
Above all, Rizwan brings in a curious concoction of extravagance and calmness which makes him a special and different player. Pakistan has huge hopes pinned on him. With some more trust from the team management, Rizwan can easily become one of the star attractions in a team that has endured the painful process of transformation but is now ready to reap the rewards.
In all these, Rizwan can be the explosive and hard hitting batsman in T20’S and the intransigent yet efficacious wicket keeper batsman in Test Matches for Pakistan. Interestingly, Rizwan also has two hundreds in One Day Internationals with an average of 30.41.
Pakistani fans are already dreaming of exceptional things from the Peshawar born 28 year old Rizwan in all the three formats.
And going by his recent performances, they are not doing anything untoward.