Babar Azam: All Teams Equal in ODI World Cup
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Babar Downplays India Match
Babar Azam, the captain of the Pakistan cricket team, addressed the media in Karachi during the team’s preparatory camp for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. When asked about the highly anticipated October 15 ODI World Cup match against India, Babar stressed that the tournament shouldn’t be solely focused on one game and that all nine fixtures hold significance.
Babar: Focus Beyond India
We are participating in the World Cup, and it’s not just about playing against India,” Babar stated. “There are eight other teams, and our focus is not solely on India. Our approach is to perform well against all teams in the tournament and secure victories against them. We understand the importance of every match.
Pakistan's World Cup Itinerary
Pakistan’s World Cup journey will take them to various cities, beginning with Hyderabad, where they will face the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, the two qualifiers from Zimbabwe, on October 6 and 12 respectively. The much-anticipated clash against India in Ahmedabad will follow on October 15. They will then travel to Bengaluru to play against Australia on October 20, and subsequently to Chennai for matches against Afghanistan on October 23 and South Africa on October 27. Pakistan will continue their campaign with matches in Kolkata against Bangladesh on October 31 and in Bengaluru against New Zealand on November 4, before concluding the league-stage fixtures against England in Kolkata.
Babar Embraces Global Challenges
As professional cricketers, we are prepared to play wherever the matches are scheduled. We adapt to different conditions and environments because that’s the challenge we embrace,” Babar explained. “As a player and captain, my goal is to perform and lead the team to victory in every country. Our focus is not limited to playing against a single team; we are prepared to face any opposition.
Babar Stresses World Cup Focus
Babar’s comments highlight Pakistan’s determination to approach the ODI World Cup with a well-rounded perspective, recognizing the significance of each match and aiming to deliver strong performances against all teams.
Pakistan's Event Participation Tentative
Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming event is subject to government approval, although there is currently a tentative approval in place, which will be reviewed closer to the event. The usual security reconnaissance will take place before the team flies out, but there are no other obstacles at this stage.
PCB Seeks Travel Advice
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sent a letter to the government seeking advice on whether the Pakistan team is allowed to travel to India. The letter also inquires about any reservations regarding the five venues for the Pakistan games and whether the Pakistani government wishes to send a security delegation.
Pakistan Prepares for Lanka Tests
Currently, most Pakistan players are attending a conditioning camp in Karachi before their two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to begin on July 16 in Galle. This series marks Pakistan’s return to Test cricket after a six-month gap. The second Test will be held in Colombo from July 24.
Pakistan's Upcoming Test Challenges
During the previous ICC World Test Championship cycle, Pakistan faced setbacks in their home series, with scorelines of 0-1 against Australia, 0-3 against England, and a drawn series against New Zealand. The Sri Lanka Test series is their first away series in the 2023-2025 cycle, and they have upcoming away tours of Australia (three Tests) and South Africa (two Tests). They will also host England (three Tests), West Indies (two Tests), and Bangladesh (two Tests) at home.
Babar Urges Test Improvements
Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, emphasized the need for faster runs from the team’s Test batters. Reflecting on the previous championship, Babar acknowledged the areas where improvement was required. The goal for the new cycle is to start positively and raise their game by 5-10 percent. They aim to build longer partnerships with the bat and take wickets consistently with the ball. Babar also emphasized that Pakistan has its own style of playing Test cricket and doesn’t necessarily need to replicate the approaches of England and Australia. He highlighted the importance of adapting to the situation and learning from each day to enhance their overall system.
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