KOLKATA: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has revealed his side’s plan for the match against England during the ICC World Cup 2023 here on Saturday. New Zealand’s win against Sri Lanka yesterday has made Pakistan’s path to the World Cup semi-finals — which was already difficult — nearly impossible as they require a massive win over England in their last match. If Pakistan bat first against England, they would have to beat them by 287 runs. If Pakistan bowls first, they need to dismiss England for 50 runs and chase the target in two overs or 100 runs in three overs.
“Anything can happen in cricket. We will try to finish the tournament on a high note,” Azam said during a pre-match press conference on Friday. ‘We have a plan for net run-rate and will try to execute it. We have planned 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.
“The role of Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan will also be important during the match.” Azam also hit back at former cricketers who have criticized his performance and captaincy during the mega event. There is no pressure on me. I was performing and leading the side for the past three years as well. It is easy to say things while sitting on tv. People who want to advise me can contact me on my number,” he said.
“Right now, my focus is on the next match. I will think about the future of captaincy later,” he added. Azam also opened up about the role played by the conditions in India on his performance during the World Cup.
“I bat in accordance with the situation of the match. Sometimes conditions don’t allow us to play freely. Every venue has different conditions in India. We are touring India for the first time and didn’t know much about the conditions. I admit that I have not been able to performance in line with expectations,” he said.
Replying to a question, Babar said that he believes that the game against South Africa cost Pakistan adding that they team should have won that match and also the game against Afghanistan.
“But unfortunately, we didn’t win and that’s why we are at this stage,” he said. When asked what has let Pakistan down in the tournament, Babar refused to blame anyone and instead said that the team couldn’t deliver as a unit.
The Pakistan captain further said that they’ll try to learn from the mistakes they committed during the tournament. “You cannot say that it is the fault of bowling, fielding, or batting. As a team we could not execute. We cannot say that we got so many runs in bowling or lost runs in fielding. As a team we did not execute the plan or play as per the demand – that includes bowling, batting, and fielding.” he said.
“I have seen that the margin of error is very low here because when you give even a little room to any team, they take the match from you. This is the speciality of the World Cup. It’s a high-intensity game. You have a match against every team, so they are high-intensity games. So, I think the whole team should learn from the mistakes,” he added.