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'I've never experienced such difficult conditions' - Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan News

'I've never experienced such difficult conditions' - Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan admitted that batting on the Ageas Bowl surface was a huge challenge for him but felt Pakistan had a sufficient amount of runs to trouble England's batsmen.

Rizwan's sturdy knock was punctuated by solid defence initially and free-flowing strokeplay as he gradually took time to settle, depending on the context of the innings.

The wicketkeeper-batsman protected Pakistan from being skittled for a score below 200 by launching a terrific fightback as he toyed with England's bowling line-up under grey skies.

Reflecting upon his gritty heroics, Rizwan remarked that he had never witnessed the ball moving so significantly well after being rendered 'old' by normal standards.

"They were difficult conditions, not unlike some of the pitches in Pakistan like in Abbottabad or Peshawar," he told reporters.

"But still, this is the first time that I have seen the ball seam continuously even after 75 overs. I've never experienced this before."

"When Babar was batting alongside me, I was playing more compact and looking to defend. When he got out and the tail came in, I knew I had to shift gears," he added.

"You have to realise if you want to become a good player in this format, there are certain phases when you have score freely and some phases where you calmly spend time at the crease."

"Early on, I had to toil hard for my runs. But the situation changed and I later played attacking cricket."

With Pakistan pursuing a series-levelling win to give themselves a chance of setting up a decisive clash in the third game, Rizwan claimed the side's bowling arsenal could tame the hosts.

"Everyone can notice that these are seaming conditions which suit fast bowlers in England. Our pacers are confident that we have enough runs on the board to take advantage of the favourable surface."

Rizwan also credited Pakistan's star-studded coaching panel for guiding him and helping him prevail in the stern test against England's four-pronged seam attack.

He said that Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan asked him to employ a "bat-up technique" whereby he would wait for the ball to come to him instead of the trigger movement of tapping the bat and chasing the delivery.

"I slightly modified my technique during the innings as Misbah bhai advised me to keep my bat a bit higher to counter the extravagant seam. I only experimented with this bat-up technique when I wanted to play aggressively," Rizwan explained.

"When I was compact early on, I did not keep my bat high nor did my body sway back. One of the suggestions I received from Misbah and Younis during the on and off scenario [created by bad light] was to lift my bat higher and keep a step outside."