Babar Azam: Pakistan must not take Zimbabwe lightly

Babar Azam

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam says his team have no intention of taking Zimbabwe lightly in their upcoming ODI series.

Babar wants his team to complete a clean sweep of the three-match series taking all the Cricket World Cup Super League points on offer.

Pakistan will give Zimbabwe the proper respect

The skipper believes that Zimbabwe will pose a real challenge and should not be written off ahead of the clashes in Rawalpindi.

“This time around the competition will be good; they have brought in experienced players and you will see different cricket,” Babar said. 

“We will try to dominate and play according to our strengths and try and get a clean sweep.”

Babar wants a clean sweep

Babar says that there is a good chance that some of the younger players in the squad will get a run but he is wary of weakening the team against opponents who have shown themselves to be dangerous in Asia.

The Pakistan captain added: “You can’t take them lightly and we will try to play with a combination of seniors and juniors and give chances to players like Khushdil [Shah], Usman Qadir and Zafar Gohar. We will try to shuffle during the whole series and test our bench strength.

“Whatever the team you are up against you can’t afford to take it easy,” he said. “We plan to have the same level of focus and planning. We have to give Zimbabwe respect and play at our full potential. I have given the same message to the boys in the dressing room not to be relaxed and play your natural game.”

Still learning

Babar has yet to establish himself as Pakistan captain but at the very least his batting form doesn’t appear to have suffered.

He is eager to continue learning and growing as a skipper.

“I have learned a lot in the last year and it is a continuous process,” Babar remarked. 

“It didn’t affect my batting much because with the bat I only focus on what I am doing in the middle. But as a captain, there are a lot of things going on my mind so I try to cover every aspect as captain while enjoying the game. The ODI cricket is played with a different mindset but whatever made me successful in T20 cricket, I’ll try and replicate that to get good results.”

Pakistan face Zimbabwe in the first ODI of three in Rawalpindi on Friday 30 October.