Pakistan: T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam Feels Conditions At UAE Will Suit Pakistan
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T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam Feels Conditions At UAE Will Suit Pakistan

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pakistan has won their last 10 Twenty20 internationals in the United Arab Emirates, and captain Babar Azam claims that will give his men the edge over India in their World Cup opener.

The arch-rivals will meet in Dubai on October 24 in what will be the biggest clash of the tournament that starts Sunday in Oman and the UAE.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan’s Last 10 T20I Wins At UAE Will Give Them Edge Over India

Pakistan has never won a World Cup match (either in ODI or in T20I) against India, but that does not bother Babar Azam who believes familiarity with the UAE pitches will help them break the jinx.

“Definitely we have played a lot of cricket in the UAE,” Babar said in a captain’s press conference when asked about his team’s dismal 0-5 record against India in T20 World Cup clashes.

“These conditions suit us and we know how to play here. We need to keep things simple in all the departments.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The UAE was Pakistan’s home base after the deadly terror attacks on the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 forced cricket out of the Asian nation. Pakistan, who are third in the T20 rankings behind England and India, also has Afghanistan and New Zealand in their group at the World Cup. Babar Azam that captaining the team in the 16-nation tournament was indeed an honour and said his recent form will give him confidence.

“Good performances give you confidence,” Babar, who has hit two T20 centuries this year, said.

“I am in form, hence it will benefit me.”

Babar Azam, who has over 2,000 T20 runs, tipped Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson to stand out as the tournament’s best batter and Pakistan speedster Hasan Ali as the premier bowler. Pakistan made a few changes to their final 15 for the T20 World Cup late last month, bringing in experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik back in the squad along with Haider Ali and Fakhar Zaman.

Virat Kohli Always Approached India-Pakistan Game As Another Cricket Game

Meanwhile, India captain Virat Kohli played down the famous rivalry, describing the match with Pakistan as “just another game”.

“I have always approached this game as just another game of cricket. I know there is a lot of hype created around this game more so with ticket sales and the demands for tickets,” said Kohli.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

“Right now the value of those tickets is ridiculously high. So that’s all I know, friends asking me for tickets left, right and center, I refused. Yes, the environment, you can say, is different. From the fans’ point of view, it is definitely louder. From the players’ point of view, we stay as professional as we can.”

Virat Kohli was the first cricketer to score 3000 T20I runs. The India captain reached the milestone in his 87th match in the shortest format. Virat Kohli averages over 50 in all 3 formats – Tests, ODIs, and T20Is. Virat Kohli, who debuted for India in August 2008, is 7th on the list of run-scorers in international cricket behind Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, and Rahul Dravid.

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