Pakistan captain Babar Azam is confident ahead of the ODI World Cup, despite his team’s lack of experience in India. Most of the Pakistan squad members have not played in India before, but Azam believes that they have done their homework and are ready for the challenge. Azam, one of the leading batters in the game, is excited to play in the World Cup and is especially looking forward to the big game against India in Ahmedabad on October 14.
“Although we have not played in India before, we are not taking too much pressure. We have done our research and we have heard the conditions are similar to how they play out in other Asian countries,” said Azam in the pre-departure media conference. “I am excited to play in Ahmedabad as it will be jam-packed. I will try my best to perform up to my potential. I am not worried about my individual accolades, I want to make sure whatever I do helps the result for the team,” said Babar Azam.
“Whenever there is a tour coming up, I spend some time planning for it. I prepare according to [the teams I have to face] and make goals for myself. I try to set targets for myself and then I give my 100% in the ground. It is a chance to become a hero as every World Cup performance gives you a different kind of confidence. Everyone is at their best during the World Cup, so whenever you perform there, it is an altogether different feeling,” he said.
Pakistan, who looked like the team to beat before the start of the Asia Cup, returned empty-handed from the continental event won by India. Their star pacer Naseem Shah has been ruled out of the World Cup and they have issues both in the bowling and batting departments. He stressed on the need to back struggling players referring to the likes of Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan who did not have the best of times in the Asia Cup.
Babar Azam said the team will be missing the services of injured pacer Naseem Shah. He also asserted that there is no bad blood in the dressing room following the Asia Cup disappointment. Hasan Ali has been named Shah’s replacement and Babar said he was picked because of his rich experience.
“Of course we will miss Naseem Shah as Shaheen [Afridi] and Naseem bowling together gave us a different edge. It was not easy to pick his replacement, but we all sat together and got input from [chief selector] Inzamam ul Haq. I cannot comment who will bowl the new ball or the old ball, as we cannot reveal our strategies right now. But we have not made any concrete plans right now. It will become more clear to us when we travel to India and assess the conditions,” Babar Azam concluded.