Pakistan set out to ‘test bench strength’ in Bangladesh

Babar Azam Pakistan

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam says that the T20I series against Bangladesh will be used to give opportunities to fringe players.

Babar said Pakistan see the tour as a project to build for the future and assess the depth of their T20 cricket with another World Cup campaign on the horizon.

The skipper promised different combinations would be used in each match of the series against Bangladesh.

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“The project is to check the bench strength. We have to try them out and play with a different combination,” Babar said.

“We have three T20Is against Bangladesh followed by three matches against West Indies so we will try to play with a different combination and a different approach.”

Pakistan to keep momentum going

Babar hopes that the team can continue the good form they showed at the T20 World Cup, where they went unbeaten through the Super 12s before losing the semi-final.

“We have been carrying great momentum from the T20 World Cup so the aim is to continue that and play positive cricket,” Babar said.

Babar believes that picking player with experience of the Bangladesh Premier League will help Pakistan offset a loss of experience in the group.

“Despite the absence of senior players in the team, the cricketers that are currently part of the squad have experience playing in the Bangladesh Premier League,” Babar said.

Babar wouldn’t be drawn on the potential makeup of the Pakistan team that will bid to claim the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“When we return home to Pakistan, I will talk with selectors and others to discuss this,” he said. “We will come up with a plan then. Right now we are focusing on a series-to-series basis.”

Babar is looking forward to playing in front of supporters who have traditionally appreciated Pakistan cricket.

“We also get a lot of support here along with the Bangladesh cricket team,” he said.

Fans will return to the stands in Bangladesh for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic shut stadiums to crowds in March 2020, when they face Pakistan on Friday 19 November.

Pakistan’s 12-man squad for 1st T20I against Bangladesh:
Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.