MULTAN: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam said on Tuesday that the green shirts would play their “best cricket” against India when the two sides lock horns against each other on September 2 for the Asia Cup 2023 championship.
Azam was speaking to reporters ahead of the Asia Cup tournament opener on Wednesday, where Pakistan will take on Nepal in Multan. However, millions across the world are eagerly looking forward to the big-ticket match between India and Pakistan on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Political tensions mean India and Pakistan play against each other only in international tournaments. India will have their hands full against a Pakistan squad on September 2 after the green shirts climbed to the number 1 spot in the ODI rankings last week after trouncing Afghanistan 3-0 in a recently concluded series.
“Our series against Afghanistan went very well and we played good cricket and dominated,” Azam told reporters at a news conference in Multan. “A Pakistan-India match is always a high-intensity match and we will try to play our best cricket on the day and keep up the momentum of our team.”
In response to a question about whether Pakistan considers Nepal a worthy opponent, Azam said in cricket one cannot take any opposition “for granted.”
“What I have learned till now is you should not take cricket easily,” Azam said. “You plan against opponents like you plan against any other team.”
Azam said Pakistan had made plans to tackle Nepal, adding that the green shirts have also considered the strengths and weaknesses of the Nepali team.
When asked about the Pakistani team’s morale and performance, Azam said every cricketer in the Pakistani dressing room wanted to perform big for the team.
“Every player in this side wants to win matches for his country and raises their hand,” he said. “They are always ready to put in the hard yards and never shy away from tough and difficult situations.
“We have had some amazing last few months and now it is time to build on the momentum.”