The Pakistan cricket team is all set to depart for India to participate in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Prior to their departure, team captain Babar Azam addressed the media and shared insights into the team’s plans for the tournament. However, one particular question from a journalist seemed to irk the captain.
Babar Azam was questioned about the recent subpar performance of Pakistan’s spinners ahead of the World Cup. In response, the Pakistan skipper challenged the reporter, asking him to name better spinners if he believed Pakistan’s spinners weren’t performing well.
“Sir, acche nahi hai to bata de kaun se ache hai. (If they’re not good, then tell me who all are good),” Babar Azam responded. He defended his spinners, emphasizing that they were the best spinners available to the team. While acknowledging that they may not have been at their best recently, he expressed his confidence in their abilities and believed they would shine in the World Cup.
“We start judging them very quickly. I agree they haven’t been at their best in recent times, but it doesn’t mean they’re not good. They’re good; that’s why they’re playing for Pakistan. I have full faith in them; they will perform well in the World Cup,” Babar Azam stated during the press conference.
Furthermore, Babar Azam expressed his disappointment at the absence of Naseem Shah from the squad due to a shoulder injury. He revealed that the management had chosen Hasan Ali as Naseem’s replacement due to his extensive experience in international cricket.
— Sanju Here 🤞| Alter EGO| (@me_sanjureddy) September 26, 2023
“Surely, we will miss him a lot. He was bowling with the new ball in three formats, and the duo of Shaheen and Naseem together gave a different vibe. Unfortunately, we will miss him. We chose to replace him with the best available option we had. It was a difficult decision. We had a long discussion with coach, Mickey Arthur, and Inzy Bhai and chose Hasan Ali because he has a lot of experience of playing in World Cups,” Babar Azam added.
Notably, Hasan Ali was a key figure in Pakistan’s victorious 2017 Champions Trophy campaign, where he finished as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, earning him the golden ball award. He claimed 13 wickets from five matches at an impressive average of 14.69 and an economy rate of 4.29.
Pakistan is scheduled to begin their World Cup campaign with a match against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad. Before that, they will participate in two warm-up fixtures, facing New Zealand on September 29 and Australia on October 3. The cricketing world eagerly anticipates Pakistan’s performance in the upcoming World Cup, with Babar Azam leading the charge.