Babar Azam, who is set to captain for the first time in One Day Internationals, expressed confidence of doing well in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe which begins on Friday (October 30). The 26-year-old, who has led Pakistan in eight T20Is, said he’ll take that experience when he captains the team in 50-overs format.
“We are confident of starting this series well. It will also have an effect on our next series as well. We’ll try to start well and finish well. We can’t take the Zimbabwe team, or any other team in international cricket, easily. They have experienced players here and we’ll try to give 110 percent,” said Babar during an online press conference on Thursday.
“You can’t take any team easily. When we played them the last time in their home series, it was a different team and this team has experienced players who have been playing throughout. We’ll try to keep a combination of senior and junior players, and we’ll also try to use our bench strength. We’ll try to shuffle it around and give the new players a chance.”
“In T20Is, you have to play aggressively and make quick decisions. In ODIs, you get a bit of time. This is my first series (as ODI captain) and I’ll try to use my experience from T20Is in the ODIs. My philosophy is that if you support the lads, if you back them then they will give 110 percent of their effort and try to get a good result,” he added.
Babar also announced the 15 for the first ODI, with vice-captain Shadab Khan missing out due to a leg injury which he picked up during an intra-squad warm-up match. Usman Qadir, son of the legendary Abdul Qadir, finds a spot as his replacement. Qadir, 27, was part of the Pakistan T20I squad to Australia in 2019, but didn’t play a game and is uncapped at the international level.
“Unfortunately we don’t have Shadab Khan for the first ODI. In his place we have kept Usman Qadir, and our effort will be to play a combination of a young and a senior (player),” said Babar.
Babar said he’s pleased with the facilities provided for preparations ahead of the series, terming it par with what was provided in England when they toured there recently.
“The facilities given here are similar to England. Because of COVID we are unable to move out but the boys are happy with the facilities given by the PCB, and are enjoying spending time with each other just like we did in England. There’s no pressure or stress on us.”
Pakistan squad for first ODI: Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Muhammad Musa Khan.
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