T20 World Cup: Rizwan & Malik declared fit for semi-final game against Australia

In what comes as a huge relief for Pakistan, opener Mohammad Rizwan and middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik have been declared fit by their medical team to feature in the crucial semi-final game against Australia of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

As both Rizwan and Malik were down with mild flu and fever and were forced to stay away from training on the eve of the game, there were doubts over their participation for the crucial contest.

Meanwhile, the duo have also tested negative for Covid-19 twice in three days.

According to a Espncricinfo report, both Pakistan batters woke up on Wednesday morning with what a team official described as “light flu and low fever”, and were advised to stay back in the hotel and were kept under observation. On the other hand, the rest of the squad members and support staff of Pakistan team went ahead with their training sessions at the ICC Academy premises.

Pakistan team Manager Mansoor Rana had earlier said that the players were feeling better and the management was hopeful that both of them will be in action on Thursday against Australia. “Rizwan and Shoaib want to play in the semi-final,” Rana had said.

Meanwhile, there was no Covid-19 scare in the team at any point and it is understood that the team management had expected Rizwan and Malik to be available for the game.

Significantly, both Rizwan and Malik have played a key role for Pakistan in the tournamnet so far. Especially attacking opener Rizwan is in great form as he has amassed 214 runs in five games while Malik has made crucial runs in the middle-order.

Malik’s 50 off just 18 balls against Scotland is the joint fastest in this World Cup with KL Rahul.

Until now, Pakistan have remained undefeated in the Super 12 stage of the tournament. The Green Brigade has defeated arch-rivals India, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland in the league stage.

In a virtual press conference a day earlier before the game, skipper Babar Azam had said that he was confident that his side will carry their winning momentum and perform well against Australia in the semi-final contest on Thursday.

Babar had said that their were some minor flaws in all the matches which sometimes related to batting, sometimes bowling but he and the team management have tried to fix them all ahead of the do-or-die game against Australia.

The winner of the game between Australia and Pakistan will meet New Zealand in the summit clash in Dubai on November 14. The Kane Williamson-led Black Caps had defeated England by five wickets in the first semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to enter the final of the showpiece event.

News Desk

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