Pakistan used to say we don't have Kohli and Rohit, now India will say we don't have Babar and Rizwan: Rashid Latif

The duo became the first to have six century stands in T20Is.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

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This year, Pakistan had a dominant run in T20Is as the team won 20 out of the 29 games and became the first team to achieve this feat. The duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam played some of the best knocks of 2021 and achieved some of the remarkable records. Rizwan made runs at an incredible rate in the shortest format of the game.

Rizwan became the first player to score over 2000 runs in T20s and 1000 runs in T20Is this year, finishing with a bang after winning the player of the match award against West Indies. Rashid Latif, former Pakistan captain, praised the duo of Azam and Rizwan during his appearance on PTV Sports.

“About a year ago, we used to say that Pakistan doesn’t have players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul, especially in T20 cricket. But I think, after some time, Indians will also say that we don’t have players like Rizwan and Babar,” said Latif.

Azam stood in the second position in the table of most runs in the T20s in 2021. He made 1779 runs in the shortest format of the game. In the T20 World Cup 2021, he made 303 runs in six matches at an average of 60.60 and a strike rate of 126.25. Azam broke the record for scoring the most runs in the T20 World Cup debut. Azam is currently the number one ODI batter and was able to make it to the top in T20I rankings this year.

‘They made up for it by pacing their innings perfectly’ – Rashid Latif on the duo’s scoring rate

Former captains like Latif and Inzamam-ul-Haq criticized Azam and Rizwan for their slow strike rate at one point this year. The duo responded by scoring runs at a tremendous rate.

“Earlier, we also had our reservations about their scoring rate but they made up for it by pacing their innings perfectly,” Latif added.

Apart from some individual records, the duo was equally destructive collectively. They became the first pair to have six century stands in T20Is. They also broke Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s record of most century stands while opening the innings.