NZ series will be tough, but I am ready for the challenge: Babar Azam

Published November 25, 2020
BABAR Azam ... showing rational approach as captain.
BABAR Azam ... showing rational approach as captain.

KARACHI: Pakistan’s young skipper Babar Azam has said that captaincy is a tough job but he is ready for the challenge and will play aggressive cricket.

Speaking in an exclusive interview in Dawn News show ‘Replay’, Babar said the New Zealand series will be a challenging one for sure but added that he is confident about facing the challenge.

“Yes indeed, the New Zealand series on their own home grounds will be a tough one. But I am very confident and ready for this challenge,” he said. “We have a good overall record against New Zealand and I think we can challenge them if we are able to play our best cricket.

“We have arrived here early and we have got enough time to prepare ourselves for the series. Batting in these conditions is not an easy task as the ball not only seams around, the pitches also are bouncy. So we really need to work hard in practice sessions ahead of the T20 and Test Series,” said Babar.

A world-class batsman who is considered among the three best in the business today, Babar said he concentrates on batting alone when he is at the crease and does not think too much about other things. “Captaincy is a job where you need to think more about team and also your players, you have to take along every player even if he is not in form,” he observed. “In my opinion as captain you really need to back players and need to motivate them to perform well with full energy. And that is what I intend to do with my teammates, back them all the way no matter what.”

Babar further said that the T20 series against New Zealand is very important in the context of the World T20 next year. “The ICC World T20 in the two successive years are very important tournaments and I fully realise that,” said Babar.

“We made some experiments in the series against Zimbabwe and we tested our bench strength and we got to know about the talent of our youngsters which has been quite helpful for us in forming a good T20 combination.,” he said. “In realistic terms, I feel that a set team combination will take some time, around six months. But that is all part of the work.”

Babar said along with building the team and dealing with captaincy, he has also set personal targets too and will try to achieve more as a player on the New Zealand tour. “I am not thinking too much ahead. I am someone who plans for every day, every match,” he said. “Yes as captain my focus is to build a team and win matches but also on my performance and I set my own goals too and which is to do well and grow with every match.

“I am very grateful and happy where I am right now but, of course, there is still a long way to go from here. However, I am very optimistic about the future.”

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2020

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