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Gambhir says Babar poised to 'set the World Cup on fire'

Pakistani skipper possesses a different level of quality, says former Indian opener

By Web Desk
September 23, 2023

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir is hoping that Babar Azam will set the World Cup on fire with his batting prowess.

Expressing his views on an Indian TV channel, Gambhir chose Babar Azam when asked about his pick for one batsman to look out for in this World Cup.

The former Indian batsman chose Babar Azam over notable names such as India's Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith, New Zealand's Kane Williamson and England's Joe Root.

"Babar Azam possesses all the qualities to set this World Cup on fire," the former Indian cricketer said.

"I have not seen many players who have so much time to play. Yes, I believe that we have greats like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, David Warner, Kane Williamson and Joe Root, but Babar Azam possesses a different level of quality [he's on another level]."

Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam is currently the top-ranked one-day international (ODI) batsman in the world as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

Azam tops the list with a rating of 857. Meanwhile, in Tests, the Green Shirts' skipper is currently ranked at number four with a rating of 829.

The 28-year-old has been ranked the number one ODI batter for about 900 days now

The Men in Green will kick off their World Cup campaign on October 6 by taking on the Netherlands in Hyderabad.

Pakistan will take on India in the most-anticipated match of the World Cup on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmadabad in front of 132,000 spectators.

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.

Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan

Schedule of Pakistan's warm-up matches:

September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad

October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad

Here is Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 — vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 — vs England in Kolkata

The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).