LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Team Captain Babar Azam exuded confidence as the Green Shirts embarked on their journey to India for the ICC Men’s World Cup. With their sights set on the coveted trophy, Babar expressed the team’s high morale during a pre-departure press conference in Lahore. He urged everyone to pray for the team’s success.
Following a setback in the recently concluded Asia Cup, where Pakistan finished fourth and saw their ICC ODI ranking drop to second, Babar acknowledged that the experience had been a valuable learning opportunity for the team. He emphasized that they not only identified their shortcomings but also focused on ways to improve.
Highlighting the shift in strategy, Babar mentioned that their planning for the Asia Cup had been different, and they were prepared to adapt to the distinct conditions of the upcoming event.
Addressing concerns about the team’s middle-over bowling, Babar stated that he had discussed the issue with Shadab Khan and expressed mutual confidence. Despite acknowledging their bowling struggles, he maintained his trust in the players, emphasizing that this was the same squad that had propelled Pakistan to the number one ODI ranking.
Notably, Hasan Ali was included in the squad due to Naseem Shah’s injury, despite not representing Pakistan in the 50-over format for over a year. Babar defended the decision, citing Ali’s experience and the trust he placed in long-standing teammates.
As he prepared to play in India for the first time in his career, Babar expressed excitement and downplayed concerns about the conditions, citing conversations with former cricketers who found them manageable.
Addressing rumors of a rift with Shaheen Afridi, Babar emphasized the team’s unity, likening their relationship to that of a family. He refuted claims of a “war of words” and stated that the team members held each other in high regard.
In summary, Babar Azam and the Pakistani cricket team approach the ICC Men’s World Cup with confidence, learning from their Asia Cup experience and emphasizing unity within the squad as they aim for success on the world stage.