Mohammad Rizwan
source: Twitter / X

As the eagerly anticipated clash between cricketing titans India and Pakistan approaches in the ICC World Cup 2023, the world’s attention turns to the much-celebrated Indian team. 

While Indian cricket icons often dominate headlines, it is high time that we shift our focus towards Pakistan’s unsung heroes and their remarkable contributions to the national team’s success as well.

Within Pakistan’s ranks, there is one individual who has not only embraced the formidable pressure of international cricket but has also led the team to numerous triumphs. This unsung hero is none other than Muhammad Rizwan, the team’s wicket-keeper batsman, whose consistent performances have been nothing short of extraordinary. 

Despite the notable buzz surrounding Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, both players’ contributions are essential to appreciate who truly deserves the lion’s share of accolades in this World Cup campaign.

Let’s delve into a comparison of the two players’ performances in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023:

In the Pakistan vs. Netherlands encounter, the stark contrast in performance between Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan was unmistakable. Babar Azam, Pakistan’s esteemed captain, found himself struggling with the bat, managing to score a mere 5 runs off 18 deliveries.

Muhammad Rizwan, the wicket-keeper batsman, stepped up to the occasion brilliantly. He amassed a crucial 68 runs off 75 balls, demonstrating his composure under pressure and his capacity to anchor the innings effectively.

Moving on to the Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka match, once again, the divergent fortunes of the two players came to the forefront. 

Babar Azam’s performance remained underwhelming as he could only muster 10 runs off 15 balls, raising questions about his ability to deliver against quality opponents. 

Meanwhile, Muhammad Rizwan rose to the occasion magnificently, showcasing his exceptional form by scoring an unbeaten 131* runs off 121 deliveries. This innings not only marked a personal milestone but also solidified Rizwan’s position as a vital asset in the Pakistani lineup, capable of steering the team to success on the grandest of stages.

In the remarkable match against Sri Lanka, Muhammad Rizwan etched his name into the annals of cricket history by breaking multiple records. His incredible knock of 131 not out showcased his pivotal role in Pakistan’s World Cup campaign:

  • 131 – Highest score by a Pakistan wicketkeeper in ODIs.

  • 345 – Highest target successfully chased in World Cup history by any team, and the second-highest successful chase for Pakistan in ODIs.

  • 131 – Second-highest individual score by a Pakistani in ODI World Cups, following Imran Nazir’s 160 against Zimbabwe in 2007.

  • Awarded the well-deserved “Man of the Match” for his extraordinary performance.

These records and the Man-of-the-Match honour underscore the invaluable contributions of Muhammad Rizwan to Pakistan’s World Cup journey. He is undoubtedly a key player who has consistently delivered when it matters most.

Before the World Cup, let’s examine the recent performances of both Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan:

OpponentBabar AzamMuhammad Rizwan
vs Sri Lanka2986
vs India102
vs Bangladesh1763
vs Nepal15144
vs Afghanistan6067

A glance at these statistics clearly shows that Muhammad Rizwan has consistently delivered against various teams, proving his mettle as a dependable batsman. On the other hand, Babar Azam’s performance appears to waver, often struggling against stronger opponents like India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh while shining against lesser-ranked teams such as Afghanistan and Nepal.

The spotlight often shines brightly on Babar Azam, it’s essential to recognize Muhammad Rizwan’s invaluable contributions to the Pakistan cricket team, especially in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.

His remarkable consistency and ability to perform under pressure demonstrate his true worth as a key player in the team’s quest for glory. As Pakistan gears up to face India, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Rizwan, the unsung hero who has time and again risen to the occasion, showcasing his prowess on the world stage.


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