DUBAI: Pakistan’s Cricket Squad, led by Babar Azam, has never lacked for quality, and they’ll be fired up to compete for a second T20 World Cup championship on Sunday in the UAE.
The players are enraged and feel betrayed when New Zealand suddenly ended its Pakistan Tour last month due to security concerns, followed by England.
The double whammy dealt Pakistan a severe blow in its bid to host major league clubs in the future.
Cricinfo’s Ramiz Raja said that the players had been “used and thrown away” by the “Western bloc,” and has urged that the players utilise their fury to enhance their performance in the competition.
The defending champions will open their Super 12 campaign against arch-rivals India on Sunday. Also in Group 2, which includes Afghanistan, they will be pumped up to take on New Zealand.
Babar, along with wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, will be expected to carry the scoring burden at the top of the order as the team’s batting backbone. Both batsmen are in the top seven in this format’s rankings, and Babar noted that they had a strong chemistry while pairing up.
Rizwan has excelled during the last two years, according to Babar, who spoke on behalf of the team on Saturday.
While playing with him in the top order, Babar Azam stated, “I love batting with him and I hope we can bat together for extended periods of time in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 as well.”
They are familiar with UAE surfaces since they have been compelled to play many of their “home” matches there, including matches in Pakistan Super League.
Pre-departure news conference: “We’ve been playing cricket in UAE for the last three-four years and we’re quite familiar with the conditions.”
“We know what to expect from the wicket and how batsmen will have to alter their strategies.”
Despite Babar’s flawless 11-0 record in the UAE in this format, there’s one statistic that’s less than favourable for the squad.
While Pakistan has yet to defeat India in a World Cup, Sarfraz Ahmed is confident his team can do it in Abu Dhabi.
“We’re focused on the future, not the past. That is something for which we are prepared. I have complete faith in our ability to perform on game day.”