Buoyant Babar Azam '100%' confident to win T20 World Cup

Skipper confirms that he will continue to bat at number three

Imran Munawar
Murtaza Ali Shah
Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam during the pre-match press conference at Headingley Stadium, Leeds. — Provided by the reporter

LEEDS: Pakistan team skipper Babar Azam said that he was 100% confident to win the upcoming T20 World Cup which is set to take place in June. 

Speaking during a presser at Leeds on Tuesday, Babar said the four-match series against England is an absolute golden opportunity for the preparations of the World Cup.

“Every new series is different from the previous one but the series against England is a golden opportunity for us before the World Cup and we need to avail it as we are almost out of time now. In about three weeks the World Cup will begin so we will try to be very positive in the series, learn as much as we can and win the series," he said. 

“Because when you win a series the overall confidence of the team gets a boost. When you go into big events like that you try to play best cricket so I’m excited for that and to win the World Cup." 

Babar to play at number 3

Shedding light on the ongoing debate about opening with Mohammad Rizwan, Babar clarified that he will be playing at number three spot as he’s almost finalised the plans and squad for the World Cup.

“Mostly, I will be playing at number three. We didn’t do to many experiences during the recently concluded series against Ireland. We played almost the same line up and combinations bearing the World Cup in mind. 

"We have almost finalised that what combination we will play with, what will be our bowling and what will be our bating line ups which everyone will see during the series against England too," he asserted. 

Shaheen not disappointed to lose captaincy

Babar also confirmed that selection committee and the team management has finalised what the final squad for the World Cup will be.

“Everyone out there is making up their own squads and telling us who should be in and who shouldn’t be, it’s their point of view and they are fully entitled to have it. But the selection committee, coach and the captain are very clear what the final team will be for World Cup," the skipper added. 

About his reappointment as the white-ball captain, the 29-year-old said that it was the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to make him the leader again and it was because of the T20 World Cup he decided to take the leadership. 

“I don’t think that Shaheen Afridi is disappointed to lose captaincy after that brief stint. Pakistan Cricket Board communicated him and with the team as it’s their job to take decisions, not our job, and their decision is final. 

"We have played in the semi-final and final of the previous two editions of T20 cricket World Cup. We have got a good team our batting line up is good and our bowling line up is special which has been strengthened with the return of Mohammad Amir and than we have got Shaheen, Haris and Naseem who are brilliant fast bowlers. We do have a golden opportunity to win the tournament."

Responsibility lies with squad

Pakistan captain said that its a team game and responsibility doesn’t lie with one or two players as every member of the squad will have to stand up when opportunity arises. 

If one player fails to deliver other will have to step up not only to provide cover but also to perform better than that player, he added. 

“On the day even the bowlers can prove expensive, as you have witnessed that if couple of our guys are going for runs then there will be someone ready to deliver the breakthrough. That was the case in the last match against Ireland when they scored hundred plus runs in just 10 overs but we came back strong later and restricted them to around 170," he said. 

"It’s true that we’re making mistakes but that’s in patches. We have discussed and worked to overcome those in detail. We have an experience bowling lineup and they all know how to bowl under those circumstances."