In a highly anticipated World Cup showdown against arch-rivals India at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan’s cricket team, displayed a calm and unflustered demeanor. This clash marks the first time Pakistan will compete against India in India in over seven years.
Captaincy Concerns? Not a Worry for Babar Azam
Addressing concerns about losing his captaincy in the event of a loss, even in a high-stakes match like this, Babar Azam remained composed. He responded confidently, “Ek match se meri kaptaani nahi jaaegi na mili thi. (I didn’t get the captaincy because of one match, and I will not lose it because of one match).” His assured response reflected his simple and steady personality.
Focused on the Future, Not the Past
When questioned about Pakistan’s dismal 0-7 record against India in ODI World Cups, Babar Azam refused to dwell on the past. Instead, he emphasized his focus on the future. He stated, “I don’t focus on the past. I try to focus on the future. Such records are made to be broken, and I (will) try to break them. I believe my team did well in the first two matches and will do well in the next matches as well.”
Handling Pressure and Records with Grace
Babar Azam’s composure shone through when asked about the pressure to change Pakistan’s lop-sided record against India in ODI World Cups. He lightened the atmosphere by mentioning the numerous calls he receives for tickets, suggesting that he and his team do not let the past record weigh on their minds.
Babar’s World Cup Performance So Far
Despite Pakistan’s victories in their previous two matches, Babar expressed his desire for more runs personally. He had scored only five against the Netherlands and ten against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad. He acknowledged, “My World Cup till now hasn’t been as it should have been, but hopefully, you will see some difference in the next matches.”
Babar’s Perspective on Matches Against India
Although Babar Azam has had an ordinary run in ODIs against India, with just 168 runs in seven matches, he noted that India and Pakistan rarely face each other in this format. He highlighted that their encounters are typically confined to World Cups, and he does not attribute his performance solely to external factors but also to his own mistakes.
Facing India’s ’12th Man’
With 1,30,000 fans expected to support India, Pakistan will face a daunting crowd. Despite no visas being granted for Pakistani fans, Babar Azam expressed a desire for their presence, acknowledging that it would have been beneficial for his team.
Babar Azam’s quiet confidence and focused approach hint at his determination to lead Pakistan to victory in this high-profile World Cup clash against India.