Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam in action© AFP
Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam said on Friday that the team is aware of the improbable scenarios that can lead to their qualification for the Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals and they have already formulated a plan in accordance to the situations. Following New Zealand’s huge win over Sri Lanka on Thursday, Pakistan will now have to win by more than 287 runs if they bat first and in case of a chase, they need to complete it with 284 balls to spare. While the situation is heavily against the 1992 champions, Babar maintained that ‘anything can happen’ in the game of cricket.
“Anything can happen in cricket. We will try to finish the tournament on a high note,” Azam said during a pre-match press conference on Friday.
“We have a plan for net run-rate and will try to execute it. We have planned about how to play the first 10 overs and what to do after that. If Fakhar Zaman plays for 20-30 overs, we can achieve what’s required.”
“The role of Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan will also be important during the match.”
The Pakistan skipper also had a clear message for ex-cricketers who have been extremely critical of his performances – both as a batter as well as a captain – during the ongoing competition.
“There is no pressure on me. I was performing and leading the side for the past three years as well. It is easy to say things while sitting on TV. People who want to advise me can contact me on my number,” he said.
“Right now, my focus is on the next match. I will think about the future of captaincy later,” he added.
Babar also spoke about the playing conditions in India during the Cricket World Cup 2023 and how a lack of familiarity played a role in the team’s performances.
“I bat in accordance with the situation of the match. Sometimes conditions don’t allow us to play freely. Every venue has different conditions in India. We are touring India for the first time and didn’t know much about the conditions. I admit that I have not been able to performance in line with expectations,” he said.
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