Pakistan, a team used to turbulent buildups, looks remarkably tranquil ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia, where they will begin their pursuit for a second title with a Super 12 duel against archrivals India on Sunday.
With the onus of run production falling on himself and his vice captain Mohammad Rizwan, skipper Babar Azam entered the New Zealand tri-series determined to fix a struggling middle order. Babar may relax now that Mohammad Nawaz, Haider Ali, and Iftikhar Ahmed won the New Zealand final on Friday by defeating the home team.
Leader Shaheen Afridi has recovered from a knee injury and rejoined the team, which features a strong pace assault thanks to the likes of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf. Fast bowlers “have always been in abundance in Pakistan, and we now have a very good pace attack,” Babar remarked.
T20 World Cup | Pakistan expects to win after fixing their middle order
Babar claimed that the team’s “middle order” had “stepped up” in the team’s last two encounters. “When you get that kind of performance right before the World Cup. It gives lot of confidence to the team. Our middle order stepped up in the last two matches. I’m fully confident they would perform well in the World Cup, too. It’s a good sign for us,” Babar said.
Even if top-ranked T20 cricket batter Rizwan and third-ranked T20 cricket batter Babar no longer have to worry about single-handedly leading the innings, they still need to set the tone. The 2009 champions need to avoid a similar collapse to Pakistan’s in the Super 12 stage last year, when they were undefeated but were eliminated by eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals.
“With Shaheen back in the battlefield, we can now launch a more formidable assault. With the new ball and in the final overs, Haris has made great strides. “Let’s show how good we are as a pace unit!”
Pakistan’s tournament begins with a must-win match against India in front of a sold-out crowd in Melbourne; the team has no time to warm up. Pakistan beat India for the first time in a World Cup last year, and they also beat India in a match for the Asia Cup in September in the United Arab Emirates.
Babar remarked, “A match against India is always an intense contest.” “They have a lot of anticipating fans. When we’re playing, we really get into it and give it our all.”