Pakistan cricket team’s head coach Saqlain Mushtaq has thrown his support behind openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan despite losing the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka.

Babar Azam once again failed with the bat in the final, scoring just five runs in the final. The typically proficient captain also scored just 68 runs in total in the whole tournament despite playing in every game.

He surrendered his no.1 ranking in the world to Rizwan in the process as well.

Saqlain, however, has put faith in his captain calling it a “rough Patch” that every batsman goes through.

“If someone looks at his batting, you’d just say he’s unlucky, especially the way he’s getting out,”.

“It’s just a patch. If you look at the rankings, he’s (among the) top in T20 International and in ODIs. It’s just been bad luck. The way he’s training and playing it’s amazing.

“His work ethic is top notch”.

Saqlain Mushtaq also came to the defence of Mohammad Rizwan who was criticized in cricketing circles for his slow strike rate in the Asia Cup final. He scored 55 runs off 49 leaving very little time for other batters to build their innings.

“Every team and player have their own style and methods,” former test spinner Saqlain said.

“It’s not compulsory that you do what the rest of the world is doing … His approach is not wrong.”

With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, both the openers not in the best of form is an inauspicious sign for Pakistan. However, with Matthew Hayden set to return to the dugout Pakistan may yet again see the best of these two in the future.

It was under Hayden’s mentorship that Rizwan and Babar became one of the most potent opening pairs in world cricket.

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