Babar Azam batting against India during the 2019 World Cup. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has expressed confidence that his side can defeat arch-rivals India in the T20 World Cup 2021. According to Azam, the experience of playing cricket in the UAE in recent years gives his side an advantage.
Pakistan will kick-off their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign by taking on India in the marquee clash of the ICC event on October 24 in Dubai. Pakistan are yet to defeat India in a World Cup match, be it T20I or 50 overs.
Azam, though, asserted that Pakistan are better-placed to win the mega contest against India because they know the conditions very well. The ICC quoted Azam as saying:
“We know the pressure and the high intensity of each game, especially the first one. Hopefully, we can win the match and carry the momentum forward. We’ve been playing cricket in the UAE for the past 3-4 years and we know the conditions really well. We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustment batters will have to make. On the day who plays the better cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we will win.”
Since the start of 2016, Pakistan have played six T20Is at the Dubai Cricket Stadium and did not taste defeat in any of the games.
The Pakistan skipper, who will also be the team’s leading batter at the ICC event, added that the side are heading into the T20 World Cup with a lot of confidence and self-belief. Azam said:
“As a team, our confidence and morale are really high. We are not thinking of the past but the future. We are preparing for that. I am fully confident that we are well prepared and will play good cricket on the day.”
The 26-year-old will be featuring in his maiden T20 World Cup. He has an impressive record as skipper in the T20 format, having won 15 of the 28 matches that he has captained. Azam added:
“I am very happy and proud to go to the T20 World Cup as a captain.”
Pakistan have been placed alongside India, New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group 2 of the Super 12 round.
“We have a lot to learn from the senior players” – Pakistan skipper
Apart from a number of youngsters, Pakistan also have veterans like Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez as well as former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed in their 15-member squad.
According to Azam, Pakistan’s team for the T20 World Cup has a good mix of youth and experience. Azam explained:
“All the players have entered the side after a good domestic performance. We have a lot to learn from the senior players in the side because they have so much experience, they have played the World Cup and leagues before. 7-8 players in our squad have also played the Champions Trophy before which brings out different confidence.”
Pakistan won the second edition of the T20 World Cup, which was held in 2009 in England.