PAK vs NZ: Babar Azam rejects wrong impression regarding team bonding

He also said that the basic purpose behind their ongoing series against New Zealand is to do experiments

April 25, 2024
Pakistan team celebrates after taking a wicket. - PCB

LAHORE: Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Wednesday rejected the impression that there is no bonding in the team, adding they always play like a unit.

The statement comes ahead of the fourth T20I of the ongoing series against New Zealand in Lahore on Thursday.

“Our bonding is good. Yes, when we lose, we discuss the merits and demerits and it further strengthens our bonding as a team,” Babar said during a press conference.

He also said that the basic purpose behind their ongoing series against New Zealand is to do experiments in order to constitute a solid side for the coming T20 World Cup which will be hosted by the US and West Indies in June.

“The basic motive behind this series is to do experiments in order to form a good combination and on the top four slots we will try to give enough chances to players who are going to World Cup,” he said. 

“And if we switch over any player to a different spot, we will do it by discussing with him. Everything is happening through proper understanding and communication. Every player is being taken into confidence and our motive is to raise the country’s performance graph."

Babar said that criticism will not change their plans. “We prefer those things which can benefit the team and the country. It’s my motive and stand and I believe in it," he said.

Asked whether a tough camp at Kakul affected the players’ fitness, Babar said it’s part of the game. 

“We passed through tough and consistent cricket. Whenever you are on a tour you make such a schedule that you will work on fitness and skills. Look, it’s part of the game," he said. 

“Injuries are part of the game but we try to look after every player. A camp always helps you in fitness and mental health. It never happened to me or any other that we did not focus on fitness.

“We are trying to give opportunities to the available 15 to 16 players so that they could prove themselves in different conditions and get ready for the task.

"We are giving them confidence and it will help onwards,” he was quick to add. 

Asked about Mohammad Rizwan’s fitness issues, Babar said major players are always missed.

“The entire team missed Rizwan. The way he has served the team and the nation is before you. He is a fighter and always tries to give his best,” he said. “His injury is not of any major concern but as a precautionary measure we want to save him and he will undergo rehab in NCA and he will be properly looked after. I hope he will be ready before the Ireland series and inshaAllah he will be available soon,” he said. 

Asked whether he would also play at number three in this series as he had done well at this position in the past, Babar said it depends on situation.

“If we are to go with a different mindset and with a different plan and yes, it is also possible to try different players on that spot,” Babar said. 

“We did not lose the previous game due to one or two players; we lost that as a team. Besides batting and bowling we also made mistakes in fielding and had we done well in that area it could have been a different game. It is not right to blame any player as we lose as a team and we win as a team.

“Shaheen and Naseem are the best bowlers and they know how to make a comeback. If they misfire in a game so it happens. There should be a contribution of every player and if any one does not perform others should make it up."

Alam Zeb Safi is a senior reporter for The News