Mount Maunganui: Stand-in skipper Mohammad Rizwan has backed Pakistan’s top-order after they failed to perform in both innings of the first Test against New Zealand at Bay Oval.
The top-order consisting of Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail collectively made 43 and 47 runs in both the innings but the late-order resilience kept Pakistan in the game till the last day of the first Test.
The 28-year-old Rizwan while talking in a video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that he is hoped they will perform in the final Test in Christchurch.
“We need a little bit of improvement in our top order and then we can perform well,” Rizwan said.
“We have done well in the past and can do it again. Runs are due for them and they will have to score. They have done it before, and I trust them to do it again. I know conditions are tough, but then all they have to do is see off the new ball, stay in, and make big scores,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rizwan is not disappointed with the first Test’s result as the team showed great fightback.
“I am not disappointed with the result, because the result is not in our hands, but the hard work is and I think we didn’t put in enough hard work as compared to them,” Rizwan maintained.
“They played really well, so it’s fair that they won. But I will give full credit to my boys as well, we put on a great fight. Otherwise, this game wouldn’t have gone that far. The end shows that both teams played really well, but they were ahead of us and deserved to win,” he added.
Rizwan was in awe of Pakistan’s brightest spot of the second innings, Fawad Alam, who scored his second Test hundred after 4218 days.
“Congratulations to Fawad bhai for his runs and the record. He was focused and his concentration level was very good. We kept on talking about how to play, and the only simple plan we formed was to not worry about the runs and the scoreboard. Kiwi bowlers never gave up and kept on hard and turned it around.” he added.
It must be noted that Pakistan lost the first Test by 101 runs against New Zealand. The second Test starts on January 3 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.