KOLKATA: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam said Friday that he has a plan to improve their net run-rate in their all-important ICC World Cup 2023 fixture against England on Saturday.
New Zealand’s convincing five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday, took a toll on Pakistan’s already slim chances of semi-final qualification as the 1992 champions now need to thrash the defending champions by a hefty margin.
Pakistan, who are in fifth position with eight points in as many matches, will now need to win their last ICC World Cup 2023 fixture against England by at least 287 runs to go past New Zealand in the standings.
If they bowl first, then they would have to beat England with 284 balls to spare, which means they will have to chase down the target in just 2.4 overs.
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Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Babar Azam is determined to end their World Cup campaign on a high note, asserting that any thing can happen in cricket.
“Anything can happen in cricket. We will try to finish the tournament on a high note,” said Babar.
“We have a plan for net run-rate and will try to execute it. We have planned about how to play the first 10 overs and what to do after that. If Fakhar Zaman plays for 20-30 overs, we can achieve what’s required.
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The Pakistan captain also emphasized that wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed are crucial for the team.
“The role of Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan will also be important during the match.”
Babar Azam then denied the potential of captaincy taking a toll on his individual performance, stating there is no pressure on him while asserting his focus is solely on the next match.
“There is no pressure on me. I was performing and leading the side for the past three years as well.
Right now, my focus is on the next match. I will think about the future of captaincy later.”