Babar confident of good show on South Africa tour

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam is confident that they will carry the winning momentum on the tour of South Africa which will begin with the first one-day at Pretoria on April 2.

“We will try to carry the winning momentum. Although we last played one-day against Zimbabwe but you know the series also is related with the World Cup qualifiers so we want to win it in good way,” Babar said in a news conference.

“And the T20 series is a preparation for this year’s T20 World Cup. As far as test series against Zimbabwe is concerned so new players have been given chance and this is a great opportunity for them to learn as we will have to go to the West Indies and then New Zealand will tour Pakistan,” Babar said.

He said South Africa are experienced and a tough side, especially at home conditions and cannot be taken lightly. “But last time we had given them tough time and we would try to carry the same momentum. We have planned a couple of practice matches here and we will get four days in South Africa and I hope we will play with confidence,” Babar said.

“My aim is that we should click abroad,” Babar was quick to add.

Babar said that he has learnt a lot as a captain.

“I have been captaining the side for the last 18 months and have learnt a lot and am learning. Its my dream to come in top three,” Babar said. Asked he had major objections over team’s selection Babar said discussion on selection matters is healthy activity, stressing the meeting secrets should not be leaked.

“Debate on selection matter is good thing but what is discussed should not come out in public. Its not my team but its our team. I know selection matters and I try to pick the best playing XI because I have to play the team. Its a best team and we should utilise it,” said Babar.

About picking left-handed dashing opener Sharjeel Khan in T20 squad for the tour of South Africa Babar said he is in form and has the capability to turn the things around.

“Sharjeel is in top touch. Yes his fitness is not of the best level but the way he is in form I hope he can turn the things around. I have played with him the PSL and he is a sort of player who takes off pressure of you when he is in touch and takes the game away from the oppositions. I have chosen him for T20 and where a player can adjust despite not being in top fitness level. He is the best as a fielder also,” Babar said.

However he was quick to add that Sharjeel’s fitness is not of the sort which could be criticised, saying, he has played the entire domestic season.

He said as a captain he takes stand. “I take step as a skipper for the players and team. I always want the best side,” the skipper said. Pakistan will face South Africa in three one-day and four T20 Internationals.

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