Pakistan captain Babar Azam has brushed aside the talk on impending changes in the team’s leadership and said the focus is to win the ODI and T20 series against New Zealand.
Babar told a virtual media conference on Thursday that he was completely backing the selected squad.
Asked about his alleged dissatisfaction over the selected team, Babar said that he had given his input as captain as usual and insisted this was not any individual’s team.
“I think the board officials and chief selector have also clarified the position on team selection so for me I am completely backing the side and expect it to do well against New Zealand.”
Babar also made it clear he had been told nothing or heard anything about captaincy changes.
He pointed out that it was a normal thing in the cricket world that a captain had to meet desired goals and live up to expectations.
PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja, in his first press conference had made it clear that his expectations for Babar as captain were the same as he had with Imran Khan.
Ramiz said since he didn’t know Babar that well on an individual level, it was too early to make his assessment about his all format captaincy.
Babar said when asked about captaincy change rumours: “I have no idea about it so far.”
The Pakistan captain said that his team was expecting a tough fight from the New Zealand team in the white ball series despite them missing some of their main players like captain, Kane Williamson, Tim Siefert, Devon Conway and experienced pacers Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson.
“We are not taking them lightly at all despite this being our home conditions. They as a nation have done extremely well in ODIs and T20 cricket in recent years and were also finalists of the last World Cup and the World Test Championship final so obviously their depth of talent is good.”
He said if New Zealand had their main players, the series would have been more enjoyable.
Babar said the two home series against New Zealand and England were important because the conditions in Pakistan and UAE where the T20 World Cup is to be held are very similar.
He said the coming series were the final phase of preparations for Pakistan before they go into the World Cup.
Babar said the two series will allow Pakistan to give final touches to its middle order in white ball formats.
“Our World T20 matches are in the UAE, and we are forming a team keeping in view that aspect as well. The more we use our spinners, it will be good for us,” he said.
Source: Hindustan Times