Babar looking to get back to form in England’s T20s ahead of World Cup – Reuters Sports News


KARACHI: Pakistan’s preparation for next month’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia is set to begin.

For the national team, there is nothing better than hosting England for the first time in 17 years before the showpiece. The tour begins with the first of seven Twenty20 internationals here at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

The series will establish how Pakistan will prepare for the World Cup after a disappointing conclusion to their Asian Cup campaign, which saw them beaten by underdogs Sri Lanka in the final.

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam was unexpectedly one of the team’s worst performers during the tournament, scoring 68 points in six outings as an opener. The English home series could get Babar off to a flying start just in time and the right-hander is eager to return to his usual form.

“The series is important to me personally and I will try to bring my form back [in it]“, Babar told reporters on Monday.

“It’s important to avoid overthinking during a bad spell and it’s important to keep it simple and keep believing.”

ENGLAND captain Jos Buttler (L) and Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam pose with the series trophy on Monday.—White Star

The number of fixtures in the series is a tantalizing prospect, not just for Babar but for the entire Pakistani squad and the skipper said it was important to make the most of the opportunity.

“England arrived after 17 years, it’s going to be a big run,” said the 26-year-old. “We are very excited as a team, seven games before the World Cup is a big deal and we will try to use this opportunity.”

The series also provides Pakistan’s opening pair – Babar and Mohammad Rizwan – the perfect setting to shrug off the criticism they faced in the Asian Cup over their inability to score big in all six power-play overs.

Babar believes he and Rizwan don’t rely on a one-dimensional approach when on the fold and said their association has helped Pakistan win many games.

“Our opening partnership has been quite successful over the past two years,” he said. “The momentum we create helps the middle order. Different scenarios, the conditions, the opponents, the requirement of the match come into play when we tap.

“The partnership has given Pakistan a lot of victories. When one of us goes out, the other tries to go all the way.

The Pakistani captain jumped to the defense of the midfield, which came under fire, when a near run-a-ball 32 from Iftikhar Ahmed cost the national team the Asian Cup final .

Babar preferred to look at the positives, pointing to the middling performances of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan against India and Afghanistan in the Super Four stage of the tournament.

“Although I was worried about my own form, I was really happy that our middle order performed well,” he said. “It won us big games in different situations.”

PERFECT T20 GATE

As the English series marks the start of Pakistan’s busy international season at home, new pitches have been prepared at the national stadium.

Players from both teams were seen effortlessly practicing attacking shots into the net during the three days of training. Babar expects them to put on a good show for the fans. “The wickets are new and I think it will be a good one, the perfect T20 wicket and there will be good competition,” he said.

Money from the first T20 gate is set to go to those affected by the recent floods that devastated a third of the country. As England announced that their players and cricket board would raise money for the victims, Babar said the Pakistani players had also decided to donate the match fee from their Champions League opener. Asia.

“Humanity should prevail and it did, people stepped up to help as they always did whenever Pakistan faced such moments,” Babar said as Pakistan dons a brand new jersey design in the series, which was launched ahead of the Worlds. Cup.

Posted in Dawn, September 20, 2022

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