Our goal is to win the World Cup, not finish in top-four: Babar Azam

Many Pakistan national teams have flattered to deceive since the Imran Khan world-conquering era of 1992, but Babar Azam believes it is his country’s time to be ODI World Cup champions again. Responding to questions at an interview, team skipper Babar Azam expressed his optimism about the Falcons’ chances at ODI World Cup 2023   

Captain Babar Azam talked to reporters during Pakistan’s pre-departure meeting for the ODI World Cup 2023 on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. In the interview he was asked about Pakistan’s plans are ahead of the event and if they aim to finish in the top four:

The top-four is a small goal for us. We want to come out as winners. We did not have enough time to put together a camp before the World Cup because we had been playing for too long continuously. We wanted to give the players a break so they come back refreshed and with the hunger to win. You play well when you have that hunger.”

Team Preparations Ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023

Journalists also asked Babar Azam about his team’s preparations and how they plan to handle pressure playing in India after such a long time:

All of us are proud of travelling for the World Cup. Although we have not played in India before, we are not taking too much pressure. We have done our research and we have heard the conditions are similar to how they play out in other Asian countries. It is quite an honour for me to travel as the captain this time around, I hope we come back with a trophy this time, ” the skipper said.

Two Pakistan players (Agha Salman and Mohammad Nawaz) have experience playing in India. Research on the environment and other elements of playing cricket in India should help Pakistan settle in throughout this tournament.

It’s been seven years since Pakistan last toured India (at the T20 World Cup) owing to several issues between governing boards of both countries. Azam’s belief in the team’s preparations indicate that the Men in Green are ready to deliver an impressive performance this time around.

Meeting Arch-Rivals India in the Round-Robin Format

India vs Pakistan will take place in Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad and Azam is delighted to be a part of this squad at the ODI World Cup 2023:

I am excited to play in Ahmedabad as it will be jampacked. I will try my best to perform up to my potential. I am not worried about my individual accolades, I want to make sure whatever I do helps the result for the team

Whenever there is a tour coming up, I spend some time planning for it. I prepare according to [opposing teams] and make goals for myself. I try to set targets for myself and then I give my 100% in the ground.”, the captain added. 

Pakistan’s lack of experience in touring India has not stopped several commentators from tipping them as contenders for the title. Top stars from across the cricketing world believe Pakistan could go all the way to clinch a second ODI World Cup after their first in 1992.

Babar Azam Career Stats

Babar Azam Batting and Fielding Stats

FORMATMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCt
Tests49889377219647.7683655.179264402336
ODIs10810512540915858.1606989.1219284885646
T20Is1049814348512241.42714128.43303715342
FC8514214578426645.1103285612387093558
List A17216819832515855.8957686.9329467797073
T20s26825841946212243.67347128.71077994173122

(Stats are accurate as of September 28, 2023)

Babar Azam Bowling Stats

FORMATMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
Tests498904221-12-1212.845000
ODIs108
T20Is104
FC852781046571-12-166.423.44115.7000
List A172296335551220-220-246.255.2652.7000
T20s26857885420-220-221.256.5319.5000

(Stats are accurate as of September 28, 2023)

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