Wednesday Jul 28, 2021
BRIDGETOWN: Pakistan all-format skipper Babar Azam says he tries to play responsibly in every match.
"I try to perform in every match. Since the time I've become captain, my performances have improved as well," said the right-handed batsman while virtually addressing the media.
"I take it as a challenge. Hopefully, I can carry on and I can improve even more."
Pakistan is headed for the West Indies series with a double pressure of defeats during the England tour. Following the series in the Caribbean, Pakistan will have a big tournament - the T20 World Cup - coming this year.
The world's second top-ranked batsman said Pakistan will check out different combinations in the run-up to the World Cup. "Our aim is to play fearless cricket," he said.
"West Indies have been trying out different combinations. We are also going to do the same."
"The aim is to play different combinations in this series and also check our bench strength," he said. "The guys have done well in the PSL as well. We are going to back them."
Azam said Pakistan have played some good cricket against West Indies. Pakistan have a very good record against the hosts, he said.
Azam said fielding will play an important role in the upcoming matches. "We've discussed our mistakes and our aim is to not repeat them," he said.
"The players need to be given confidence. We've worked very hard on our fielding. It was lacking but we've worked on it in the last two days."
He also remarked that a decision has almost been made on who will be picked for the upcoming matches.
In West Indies, the conditions are different, said Azam. "We will try everyone, including spinners," he added.
The eagerly awaited four-match T20I series between West Indies and Pakistan will begin at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados today.
This will be the sixth bilateral T20I series between the two teams. Pakistan have dominated the West Indies with wins in four out of the previous five T20I series.
West Indies won the one-off T20I match between the two sides in 2011 and Pakistan have held the upper hand since.
Overall, out of 14 T20I matches, Pakistan have maintained a stranglehold with 11 wins and a mere three defeats.
Of these, seven matches have been staged in the West Indies, with Pakistan winning five and losing two.
In the 2018 T20I series that was staged at the National Stadium Karachi, Pakistan won the three-match series, 3-0. The last time the two teams played a T20I series on the Caribbean soil was in 2017 with the visitors winning the four-match series 3-1.
In the latest ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, Pakistan are placed at the fourth spot with 261 points while the Kieron Pollard-led West Indies are placed seventh with 235 points.
In case of a clean sweep victory, Pakistan will jump to the third spot with 263 points.
Amongst the batters, Pakistan captain Babar Azam is currently ranked number two while his opening partner, wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan is ranked seventh.
West Indies’ opener Evin Lewis is at number eight.
Fabian Allen, the West Indian left-arm-spinner is ranked number 10 among bowlers, while Pakistan left-arm-fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is at the number 13 spot in the rankings for T20I bowlers.