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Don’t think we feel pressure of this India-Pakistan clash: Babar

Last updated on 02 Sep 2023 | 04:43 AM
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Don’t think we feel pressure of this India-Pakistan clash: Babar

Babar Azam was also happy that their middle order has put their hands up in the opening clash against Nepal

Pressure is often a word that is synonymously used with Pakistan’s rivalry with India. The fan support of both countries ensures that this game always remains hyped, and both teams are met with the pressure of that hype. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, however, played the pressure down, stating that the team doesn’t feel the weight of the game. 

"I don't think we feel the pressure of this game," Babar said at the press conference ahead of the all-important clash. 

Babar, who scored a scintillating 151 in the first clash, insisted that the team will ‘control the controllables’ and continue the momentum after they crushed Nepal in the opening day encounter of the tournament. In that clash, the openers had a rare off-day, leaving the middle-order to really do the weight-lifting, with Ifthikar Ahmed scoring a quick-fire ton. 

Pakistan's squad for the Asia Cup

"We're focusing on what we can control. We want to continue our momentum. The boys are excited. You know India-Pakistan is a high-intensity match, and the fans wait for it for a while. We're similarly excited,” Babar insisted. 

“We're going to stick with the same top order; but if we don't get a good start, I am encouraged by the middle order stepping up. They're chipping in. We had been lagging in the middle order for a while, but they're responding well now.”

One of the consistent themes that Babar has stressed is familiarity with the conditions, given that Pakistan have been in Sri Lanka for the past two months. Not only have they played red-ball cricket here, but a host of Pakistani players have also stepped up to play in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) giving them a slight edge in terms of preparations. 

"We've been here for the last two months. We played the Tests [against Sri Lanka] here, then the LPL and then the Afghanistan series. We have decent knowledge of the conditions, and the wicket looks like a sporting one. I've found Sri Lankan conditions pretty similar to Pakistani and Indian conditions. You take time when you come in to bat, and bowl in the right channels."

With the tournament in two countries, travel is going to be a thing that would concern the teams, given how Pakistan played their first clash in Multan before travelling all the way to Galle for their second encounter against India. 

"When the Asia Cup was announced, we knew we'd have to travel a lot. The physios and trainers looked after us," Babar said. "We had been preparing since the schedule was announced. Travel is a part of cricket [for which] you have to be prepared; I don't expect it to affect our performance."

"The amount I've played here I haven't seen the weather affect cricket. The radar might say there's rain around but it doesn't really happen."

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