ISLAMABAD: Unlike conventional approach that bowling is the team’s true strength, Babar Azam boasted that batting prowess was the real asset when it comes to winning the T20 World Cup, saying that Pakistan squad has a true combination of youth and experience to win the mega event.
In a virtual media talk Wednesday, a day ahead of the team’s departure for the UAE to figure in the World Cup, Babar said that Pakistan draw its strength from batting.
“We have a strong batting lineup that goes deep with almost all the playing members capable to bat. That is our real strength going into the World Cup.”
The team’s captain spoke highly about Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali.
“Their inclusion in the team has further strengthened the batting lineup. Though we would miss Sohaib Maqsood but at the same time we have the experience of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez as well as young guns like Haider. The majority of the players are capable of delivering with the bat.”
Babar and Mohammad Rizwan would continue to open the innings with other adjustments to be made according to the requirements.
“We can utilise Haider’s form and tremendous hitting power he has shown till now. Our effort has always been that Rizwan or I stay at the wicket till the end to finish the game or make sure that we set a good target for the opposition to chase.”
Babar said that besides T20s, they had also concentrated on plugging other apparent gaps during the practice sessions.
“You cannot find time in between the events to work on your flaws. So here we did all we could to remove our flaws and make the best use of the available time.”
The captain admitted that the opening match against India holds greater importance.
“The victory against India would provide us required momentum as it is always needed when it comes to competing against the best teams around. I am proud that I have been picked as a captain of the team for this very important event. I would make my best efforts to justify my position and take home the trophy. We have the required capability to do that but what matters the most is your belief. We want to win the first match against India as we are in a positive frame of mind and entirely focused on the match.”
Babar was confident that the team would carry forward the strong points they picked from the Champions Trophy’s victory against India four years back.
“We have with us no less than seven players from that victory that would remind us that winning a match against India is very much possible.”
On the team’s bowling prowess, Babar said that the aggression they were carrying would prove a booster.
“Shaheen, Haris and Hasan all are geared up for the occasion. I am sure the battery we are carrying with us is capable of winning the matches.”
Pakistan team captain admitted that the spinners would be having a bigger role to play at the UAE pitches.
“Though we have options of playing three spinners, even if need arises, we would also include an extra spinner. All depends on the conditions.”
Babar claimed that even if they did not get an opportunity to play more internationals ahead of the World Cup, the national T20 matches would help us prepare in a better way.
“It all depends on how you play on the given day. No team can face us if we succeed in putting up a better show on that very day. We definitely have missed international exposure due to Kiwis pulling out of the series and England’s failure to take the tour, however we still feel we are in a better shape for the World Cup. New Zealand cricketers are humble and friendly. They had nothing to do with the pull-out as the decision was made by the top brass. We should not blame New Zealand cricketers for that.”
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