Babar Azam confident about T20 World Cup chances
Babar Azam is regarded among the top batsman in the world. He is currently the Pakistan captain for all formats of the game.
Babr stands on top in the ICC Men’s ODI batting ranking and number 2 in T20I batting ranking after David Malan of England took over the top spot.
Babar will be leading Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where they will go against their arch-rival India in their opening match on October 24.
“Obviously our preparations for the World Cup will be as best as possible, and the seven matches [five against New Zealand, followed by two England fixtures] we play would surely help us before the mega event,” Babar said in an interview with the media. “The stats say we’ve won 21 of the 31 matches and that is an indication our confidence level is high.
“We are quite familiar with the UAE conditions because we’ve played a lot on those pitches and it has been a lucky venue where Pakistan became the top-ranked T20 side. The [three-match] ODI and T20 series against New Zealand will be crucial for us as a group because it give adequate practice before the World Cup.
“Although it would have been nice if Pakistan had faced a full-strength New Zealand team just to give us good workout against one of the best sides who we’ll also play in the World Cup,” he added. “Our focus is to make sure Pakistan get to the UAE in a winning mode.”
Babar is confident about the successful opening partnership that he has developed along with Muhammad Rizwan – who is currently the leading run scorer for Pakitsan with 752 runs in 14 innings, averaging 94.00, while maintaining a strike-rate of 140.00 – is prospering too.
“It’s nearly a year since Rizwan started opening the innings [with me] and together it was a prolific partnership. Ideally, as captain my desire is that we continue to provide Pakistan decent starts as much as possible, particularly during the World Cup,” Babar said. “Runs from the top matter a lot in T20 cricket, and as captain my wish is one of us should be batting deep into the innings, start power-hitting. And also make sure the momentum is not lost.”
He further said that the main concern for Pakistan right now is its fielding and needs to be addressed accordingly. “Definitely fielding is a grey area which needs drastic improvement. One can’t expect good results if we field poorly because good teams seldom give you chance to bounce back.”
He appreciated the players for their strength to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been described as the biggest challenge for the sportspeople.
“Life is the bubble has been really chastening because it cuts everyone from normal way of life. Living in bio-secure environment is extremely demanding when vice versa you are either confined to your hotel rooms or the ground and cannot go outside to chill out,” he stressed. “But the way our players have responded to this situation is remarkable because once you enter the bubble you are away from family and friends. All credit to the players for coping with the pandemic life because it is traumatic, both mentally and physically.”
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