Fans furious as Pakistan bring back Sarfraz Ahmed for Mohammad Rizwan

Pakistan made a surprise move of replacing their first-choice wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.Β 
 
Mohammad Rizwan

Pakistani fans were left fuming after the team's decision to leave out vice-captain and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for the Boxing Day Test in Karachi against New Zealand. Babar Azam & company instead drafted former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed back in the side after a sustained absence from the time Rizwan replaced him. 

Rizwan paid dearly for his loss of form and poor performances during Pakistan's 3-0 Test series whitewash in home conditions. The right-hander scored only 141 runs over six innings in good batting conditions, becoming a casualty of Pakistan's embarrassing loss in front of their passionate fans. 

It was Sarfaraz, whose decline from the captaincy mantle and subsequent axing from the playing XI, which had paved way for Rizwan's surge as Pakistan's designated first-choice wicketkeeper. Now in a reversal of the order, Sarfaraz was picked by the new interim selection panel, led by former captain Shahid Afridi, for the first Test versus the Kiwis. 

It's a scenario that didn't go down well with Pakistan fans, who felt that the selectors have made Rizwan the scapegoat of the defeats to England and taken a backward step in bringing Sarfaraz back into the Test team. 

Fans react to Pakistan's Sarfaraz-Rizwan swap 

Pakistan may have been reeling with batting issues throughout the series versus England but there were little expectations that Rizwan would be made the direct casualty for the same as the Afridi-led selection committee brought back Sarfaraz to fill the player's void. 

Here is how the fans reacted:

The decision was taken even as Rizwan averages a highly impressive 38.13 at the Test level and had proven over the years a batting upgrade on Sarfaraz after replacing him during the 2019 tour of Australia. Rizwan has made nine scores of fifty or beyond, including two tons, over 27 Test matches but finds himself sidelined after a poor series. 

His replacement Sarfaraz, though, had in his time proven to be an effective No.7 for Pakistan in himself, averaging a healthy 36.39 after 49 Test matches.