‘Will defeat India in opening World Cup clash’: Babar Azam

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Babar Azam, the Pakistani captain has said that his side will defeat arch-rivals India in its opening clash of the T20 World Cup as it is more familiar with the conditions, having played mostly in the UAE for the past three-four years, Press Trust of India reported.

Pakistan will take on India at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 24 October.

They head to the fixture on the back of an unbeaten record at the venue, having recorded six T20Is wins here. “We’ve been playing cricket in UAE for the past 3-4 years and we know the conditions really well,” Azam was quoted as saying by the ICC.

“We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustments batters will have to make. On the day who plays the better cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we will win,” added the star batsman, who is set to play his first T20 World Cup and will make his debut as captain.

The side made UAE its home venue after international teams showed reluctance to tour Pakistan citing security concerns after the 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team.

Pakistan have never won a World Cup match across both ODIs and T20Is against India but Azam is unperturbed, saying that it is a thing of the past.

“We know the pressure and the high intensity of each game, especially the first one. Hopefully, we can win the match and carry the momentum forward.

“Your belief and confidence as a group matter a lot before a tournament. As a team, our confidence and morale are really high. We are not thinking of the past but the future. We are preparing for that.

“I am fully confident that we are well prepared and will play good cricket on the day,” he added. Talking about his side which is a blend of youth and experience, Azam said.

“All the players have entered the side after a good domestic performance.”

“We have a lot to learn from the senior players in the side because they have so much experience, they have played the World Cup and leagues before.

“7-8 players in our squad have also played the Champions Trophy before which brings out different confidence.”

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