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Pakistan is ‘Playing Proactive, Positive Cricket,’ According to Babar Azam

“We were told we wouldn’t be able to chase 350. We did that [against Australia], and our bowling defended totals as well.”

Pakistan did not have an easy time in this series. Not only because of the heat, which everyone, including skipper Babar Azam, recognized, but also because the three games against the West Indies this week offered little opportunities for improvement.

It was a series that had been postponed since December and had to be squeezed in somehow – similar to a family commitment – because of the Super League points on offer, which both teams craved.

Anything less than a 3-0 triumph against a team that hadn’t won an away ODI series against a Full Member since 2011 would have been a disappointment for Pakistan.

Even when the series is concluded in this manner, the reaction is more of a tepid shrug than wild delight. The temptation to focus on the flaws is always present, and there are still a few to be ironed out on this side.

If you’re the captain of Pakistan, however, that’s not the mindset to be in. “In all three departments, we’re doing great,” Babar remarked. “And we had a variety of individual performances that helped us win the games. The dressing room is where the team’s cohesiveness begins, and we must instill confidence in our players. I put my faith in our finest 15, and the top 11 get a chance to shine.

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A player always wants to be given a fair chance and to be properly utilized, and when this happens, unity rises. On and off the field, our team always sticks together, and it is the key to our success.

“We discussed how we needed to play different types of cricket. People thought we couldn’t chase 350, but we’ve played proactive, positive cricket. We did [against Australia], and our bowling helped us protect totals as well. Ups and downs are a part of life. Even though you offer your everything, you may not always achieve a positive outcome.

You have to realize that what you’re doing can’t always be done the way you want it to be done. I can only keep putting pressure on my colleagues to work harder. That’s what they’re doing, and the results are showing.”

Pakistan has now won five ODIs in a row, as well as five of the six series they have participated in since the last World Cup. While several critical positions, such as the middle order and quick bowling combination, still require reinforcement, Babar saw this as a positive and was confident that someone will rise up eventually.

He explained, “Bench strength always gives you a lift.” “It’s important to know you have people on the bench who are ready to go. On the bench, we had Iftikhar, Abdullah Shafique, and Dahani. We attempted a new bowling combination, and they did exceptionally well. As a captain, it’s quite nice to watch that.

“In some areas, we still need to improve. We continue to lose wickets in bunches in the middle, putting us on the back foot. The players need to be more focused in this area; it’s something to improve on. Our fielding has improved, but when a solid partnership emerges, our body language deteriorates, which is something else we should work on.”

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But, in the end, Babar preferred to stay in the present, expressing his gratitude to the Multan throng for showing up despite the oppressive heat.

“To be honest, I did not anticipate such enthusiastic support from the Multan crowd. Despite the heat – and it was very, very hot – they supported both teams. They did, however, show that they were interested. Multan’s residents yearned for cricket, and they demonstrated how much they yearned for it and how much they appreciated it. They backed both sides, and I’d want to thank them for it. As Pakistan’s captain, I was pleased to witness that, and our squad benefited much from it.”

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