Pakistan captain Babar Azam and fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan have formed a formidable partnership at the top of the order, and on Thursday, they stitched the highest ever partnership for any team in a chase in a T20I as they hit 203 runs against England in the 2nd T20I in Karachi. They beat their own record of a 197-run stand in a chase against South Africa. After the match, the two spoke to Pakistan Cricket Board about their partnership and what makes them tick.
Both players acknowledged that they have great communication and understanding, with Rizwan adding that they blindly trust each other while batting.
“We have so much belief in each other that we often blindly trust each other. If he says that ‘Rizi, you have to hit’, then I do,” Rizwan said.
“Because the way our communication is, we are always trying to understand that ‘okay now he is being able to hit, let him do it now’. Like in today’s innings, at first I was hitting more. Then a time came when he took over and we were able to reach our goal,” he said.
Babar Azam, who hit an unbeaten century in the match against England as Pakistan chased 199, said that they keep talking to each other while batting, and they always have a plan.
“We play according to the situation and try to build a partnership and set a stage for the middle order such that it is easier for them. We plan it in a way that we score 80-90 in the first 10 overs. We plan things over to over, which over to take risks in and which over to play it safe,” Babar said.
“As Rizwan said, sometimes he clicks and I don’t and sometimes I click and he doesn’t. But when we are both playing well then we have constant communication. We keep talking with each other and that really helps us. And if we take it deep, we know we can hit 10-15 runs per over,” the Pakistan skipper said.
While Babar Azam finished unbeaten on 110 off 66 deliveries, Rizwan scored 88* off 51 deliveries.
This was Babar’s second T20I century, with both coming in chases.