Babar Azam confident of win over India in T20 WC opener, says Pak more familiar with UAE conditions


Pakistani skipper Babar Azam is confident his side will defeat Indian rival in their opening T20 World Cup clash as he knows the conditions better, having played mostly in the UAE for the past three or four years. .

Pakistan will face India at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on October 24. They will head to the game on the back of an unbeaten record at the site, having recorded six T20I wins here.

“We have been playing cricket in the United Arab Emirates for 3-4 years and we know the conditions very well,” Azam said, quoted by ICC.

Pakistan have never won a World Cup match in both ODI and T20I against India, but Azam is undisturbed, saying it’s a thing of the past. (TO FILE)

“We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustments the hitters will have to make. On the day who plays the best cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we’ll win, ”added the star drummer, who is set to play his first T20 World Cup and make his debut as captain.

The team made the United Arab Emirates their home after international teams expressed reluctance to visit Pakistan, citing security concerns after the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team.

Pakistan have never won a World Cup match in both ODI and T20I against India, but Azam is undisturbed, saying it’s a thing of the past.

“We know the pressure and the high intensity of every game, especially the first. Hopefully we can win the game and keep the momentum going.

“Your conviction and confidence as a group matters a lot before a tournament. As a team, our confidence and morale is really high. We don’t think of the past but of the future. We are preparing for it.

“I have no doubts that we are well prepared and that we will play cricket well that day,” he added.
Speaking of his team which is a mix of youth and experience, Azam said: “All the players came into the squad after a good national performance.”

“We have a lot to learn from the senior players on the team because they have so much experience, they have been to the World Cup and championships before.

“7 to 8 players from our team have also competed in the Champions Trophy before, which brings out a different confidence. “
Pakistan will also benefit from the services of former Australian opener Matthew Hayden and South African coach Vernon Philander, who have been appointed batting and bowling consultants for the tournament, respectively.

“Hayden and Philander bring a lot of experience. Our attempt will be to learn from them as much as possible and quickly. Boys have the ability to quickly absorb and mix with them.

“You can see that Philander has already started working hard with the bowlers and you can see the past record, the bowlers win you the tournament. Hasan Ali was our top thrower in the Champions Trophy. He will take bowling training at his sides, ”Azam said.

Pakistan will play their warm-up matches against the West Indies on October 18 and South Africa on October 20 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.


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