Babar wants Pakistan to gain momentum for World Cup

September 24, 2022

KARACHI: Keeping in view the ICC T20 World Cup which begins in Australia next month Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam wants his charges to catch “momentum” during the series against...

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KARACHI: Keeping in view the ICC T20 World Cup which begins in Australia next month Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam wants his charges to catch “momentum” during the series against England which he says will benefit the team in the high-pressure global event.

“The coming event (World Cup) is a big one and these matches are very crucial. If we go into the World Cup with momentum it will help us a lot as a team,” Babar told a post-match news conference here at the National Stadium on Thursday following Pakistan’s ten-wicket demolition of England which levelled the series 1-1 with five games remaining.

Asked about the transformation in the second game, Babar said they forget what happens in the past.

“Whatever happens in the past we try to forget that,” Babar said. “Yes, we discuss in meetings mistakes which we have made and analyse where we can do better. It’s better to forget as there are back-to-back matches and time is short ahead of the World Cup,” he said.

Replying to a question about what critics say, Babar said: “Who am I to say anything! We try to play according to the situation and do what is in our hands. Neither do we listen to them nor let them come into our camp,” he said.

“If you do well, there is still criticism and if you don’t do well, obviously there will be criticism. Thank God we chased the target today. Our plan was to play according to the conditions and to carry the innings, looking for an over in which to accelerate. We executed our plans well out there in the middle,” Babar said.

“You plan according to the conditions and the required target and bat accordingly and change your gears.

“It depends on how you take those things. Look, you can go negative and also can go positive and we always take these things positively. Everyone has his own point of view. Our job is to perform and that’s what we are doing, trying to give performances through which Pakistan can win,” the skippper said.

Babar (110*) and Mohammad Rizwan (88*) shared a record opening stand to enable Pakistan to chase the 200-run target against England with three balls to spare on Thursday.

About his partnership with Rizwan, the captain said their understanding is quite good.

“I think our communication is very good,” he said. “We had chased such totals before. Our chemistry matches. We have the belief as we sometimes take runs without calling each other. It's the trust level which matters.

And this is in the entire team. We try to trust each other as a team. Ups and downs happen but as a team we support each other. And we try to back those who fail,” the skipper said.

“The conditions were difficult. We did not expect such conditions. It seemed a dry wicket. The way they (England) batted, they set an outstanding total. I think the dropped catch (Moeen Ali dropped by Khusdil Shah) made the difference which helped them set a big target,” said Babar.

“In the second session ball was coming onto the bat well under the light. Yes, the spinner was getting a little bit of assistance because you know in Karachi spinners get some support,” the skipper said.

Asked how he rates Mohammad Hasnain's performance, Babar said they are testing their bench. “We gave opportunity to Hasnain in place of Naseem Shah.

We are testing our bench strength, going with different combinations. I and the chief selector had said that we would try different combinations to find out where we stand as World Cup is a big event and we are trying to give confidence to our players so that going there every player is confident,” he explained.



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