In the lead-up to the crucial ICC World Cup 2023 match against England, Pakistan captain Babar Azam shared the team’s plan, acknowledging the significant challenge for Pakistan NRR ahead due to New Zealand’s recent victory against Sri Lanka.
The win has complicated Pakistan’s path to the semi-finals, making a substantial victory against England imperative for their chances.
If Pakistan opts to bat first, their ambitious goal is to surpass England by a margin of 287 runs. Conversely, if they bowl first, the challenge is to limit England to 50 runs and then chase the target in two overs, or restrict them to 100 runs and chase in three overs.
Babar Azam, speaking at a pre-match press conference, expressed optimism, stating,
“Anything can happen in cricket. We will try to finish the tournament on a high note.”
He emphasized a strategic approach, detailing plans for the net run rate and highlighting the importance of key players like Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Mohammad Rizwan.
Responding to criticism from former cricketers about his performance and captaincy, Babar Azam asserted that there’s no pressure on him. He invited those offering advice to contact him directly and emphasized his current focus on the upcoming match, postponing considerations about the future of captaincy.
Addressing the impact of conditions in India on his performance during the World Cup, Babar acknowledged the challenges, attributing some difficulties to unfamiliar conditions. He admitted to not meeting expectations but affirmed his adaptability to match situations.
Reflecting on Pakistan’s performance in the tournament, Babar identified the matches against South Africa and Afghanistan as crucial missed opportunities, leading to their current situation.
He refrained from assigning blame to specific aspects like bowling, fielding, or batting, stressing the collective responsibility of the team.
In a humble acknowledgment of the team’s errors, Babar expressed the need to learn from mistakes and emphasized the low margin of error in high-intensity World Cup games.
He called for a comprehensive team effort to execute plans effectively, considering the challenges posed by each opponent in the tournament.