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We have been travelling a lot, says Babar Azam ahead of Asia Cup blockbuster

National Side Skipper Babar Azam during the pre-match presser. — Photo by author 

Ahead of the much-anticipated high voltage clash between Pakistan and India, national side skipper Babar Azam said Saturday that there was no frustration in the team due to the weather; however, the side had been travelling a lot during the Asia Cup 2023 tournament. 

“We are constantly travelling. While you are playing, you don’t feel much, but it is very important to take care of the players,” the skipper said during a press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The national side has played one match in Sri Lanka and two in Pakistan so far during the event. 

Before the tournament kicked off on August 30, the side had been touring Sri Lanka for a series against Afghanistan, from which they returned to Pakistan towards end of August to play against Nepal in the opening match at Multan. The side then flew to Sri Lanka for their match against India on September 2 and then returned to Lahore for a clash against Bangladesh on September 6. They are now again in Colombo, Sri Lanka for a clash against India set to be played tomorrow (Sunday). 

During the conference, Babar expressed hope that the weather would stay clear in Colombo tomorrow. 

“The way the sun is shining, it seems it will not rain tomorrow,” he said, adding that training was in the hands of the team and they were doing that.

He further said that the team may have a playing advantage in Colombo.

“Our bowling start is good and middlemen are also trying to do well. We need to get wickets in the middle overs but we are finishing well,” Babar said, complimenting Iftikhar Ahmed’s bowling.

He said that they were trying different combinations and that’s why fast-bowler Faheem Ashraf was put to play during the match.

“Our options are open and the players selected are the best. We do not suffer from the problem of selection.

“We know who we are going to get to play,” the skipper said.

He said the team was focused on winning matches, winning tournaments and staying together.

“For the World Cup, we are looking at the Asia Cup to see what else can be improved,” he said, adding that the squad was almost decided.

“All [we] do [is] for the betterment of the team, not [to cause] heartbreak for the players, whoever gets selected will be the best,” the skipper said.

He further said that he was proud of the fast bowlers, calling them the “best”.

“Fast bowlers win matches and tournaments, I believe,” Babar said, adding that the secret of their success is that they trust each other and believe in themselves.

Remaining Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 matches

Sept 9 – Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 10 – Pakistan vs India in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 12 – India vs Sri Lanka in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 14 – Pakistan vs Sri Lanka in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Sept 15 – India vs Bangladesh in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

Asia Cup 2023 Final

Sept 17 – Final in Colombo at 2:30 pm (PST)

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