Dubai: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam announced a 12-man shortlist, out of which 11 will feature in the team’s opening match of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup against India here on Sunday. The players who missed out on the 12-man shortlist include Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
“We have decided the 12 men who could be a part of the side for tomorrow. Myself, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf. These are our 12-man side and we will announce our playing eleven tomorrow,” said Azam in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.
Speaking about the preparation ahead of the match against India, he said, “Our preparation has been going very well. We got a lot of confidence from the camp and the matches we played there. The boys are making an effort, which gives a lot of motivation as a captain. We will try to play our best cricket on the given day and give our best.”
Azam insisted that the lop-sided 0-5 record in men’s T20 World Cup against India is a thing of the past. “To be honest, what has passed is beyond us. We want to use our ability and confidence on the day of the match so that we can get a better result. Records are meant to be broken.”
Azam mentioned that their mantra ahead of the match against India is to keep things simple and be relaxed. “According to me, we have played a lot of events like Champions Trophy and 50-over World Cup. The more we keep things simple, be relaxed and stick to the basics, the more helpful it will be for us.
“We have spoken to all players about being relaxed, preparation being in our hands and giving our 100% to play our best cricket on the day.
“India and Pakistan are always high-intensity matches. You cannot afford to be relaxed at any given point of time. You have to do well in all three departments of the game — batting, bowling as well as fielding. So, we need to perform well in all three departments of the game to win the match. We tried different things in the warm-up games. As a team, I have full confidence on all of them and hopefully, we can do well.”
Azam concluded by saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan had shared his experience of winning the 1992 World Cup with the team before the side left for the mega event.
“Before coming here, we had a meeting with him. He shared his experiences of the mindset he had while winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He also spoke about the body language of him and the team that time.”