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'Good preparation for the India game' - Babar Azam wants 'confident Pakistan' to give everything against India

"Rizwan gave me confidence and vice-versa. When Iftikhar came, we played different cricket. He can struggle a bit before he gets set," Babar added.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale New Delhi Published on: August 30, 2023 23:39 IST
Pakistan team celebrating against Nepal in Asia Cup opening
Image Source : TWITTER/PCB Pakistan team celebrating against Nepal in Asia Cup opening game on August 30, 2023

Pakistan enjoyed a perfect start to Asia Cup 2023 as they thrashed Nepal by 238 runs on Wednesday, August 30. Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan all shone with impressive performances to give Pakistan a much-needed boost ahead of their next game against the mighty Indian side.

Once again, Babar ran the show to produce his maiden ODI hundred in the Asia Cup. He dominated Nepal by top-scoring with 151 runs off 131 balls, the second-highest score in the tournament history and broke a few of records at Multan Cricket Stadium. This was their biggest win by a margin of runs in the Asia Cup and the second-biggest in overall history. 

Pakistan will face the real test when they take on India in their last group-stage game at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on September 2. The Men in Blue dominate Pakistan in the ICC and Asia Cup tournaments and will enter the upcoming game as favourites.

Rohit Sharma-led side has recorded seven wins in 13 ODI matches played against Pakistan in Asia Cup history. But the Pakistani skipper believes that the huge win against Nepal was a good preparation for his team for the India game. In-form Babar also added that a win against Nepal gave them the confidence they needed and they will give 100% against India.

"When I went in, I played myself in for a couple of balls," Babar Azam said during the post-match presentation. "Ball wasn't coming on, pitch was two-paced. Rizwan and I built a partnership and see what happened. Then, there were different phases. Sometimes, Rizwan gave me confidence and vice-versa. When Iftikhar came, we played different cricket. He can struggle a bit before he gets set. I asked him to play his natural game. After two-three fours, he was comfortable. He smacked it after 40 overs. (On bowling performance) I'm satisfied. A couple of overs we were not up to the mark. Pacers started well, spinners struck too. This game was good preparation for the India game because it gave us confidence. We want to give 100% every match, hope to do that there as well."

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