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Pakistan Poised for Clash vs India in 2023 Asia Cup

Pakistan Poised for Clash vs India in 2023 Asia Cup

Pakistan Poised for Clash vs India in 2023 Asia Cup

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Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam expressed his team’s high confidence as they head into the highly anticipated Asia Cup match against arch-rivals India on Saturday. This confidence stems from their strong start to the tournament, having secured a convincing victory against Nepal earlier in the week.

Babar Azam led by example with an exceptional score of 151, and Iftikhar Ahmed contributed an unbeaten 109, propelling Pakistan to a dominant total of 342-6 at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Babar Azam showcased his leadership by delivering an impressive performance at the forefront, scoring a remarkable 151 runs. Additionally, Iftikhar Ahmed contributed with an unbeaten century, making 109 runs, which played a crucial role in propelling Pakistan to a dominant total of 342-6 at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

“This game was good preparation for the India game because it gave us confidence,” Babar, who was named Player of the Match for his 19th one-day hundred, said. “India-Pakistan will always bring high intensity. We want to give 100% in every match, hope to do that there as well.”

Babar is the best ODI batsman and he showed his skill by timing his innings well. Pakistan’s opening batsmen got out early, but Babar and Mohammad Rizwan (who scored 44) worked together to stop the team from falling behind. Later, Iftikhar also joined in.

Babar took 72 deliveries to reach his half-century, but then he accelerated and completed his century in 109 balls. Following that, he adopted a T20-style approach, scoring 51 runs off the next 22 balls he received.


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“When I went in, the ball wasn’t coming on properly, so I was trying to build an innings with Rizwan,” Babar explained. “Iftikhar also played a great innings when he came on. When he came in, I told him to play his natural game and he was comfortable after hitting two-three boundaries.”

Next, they will travel to Pallekele to play against India. India is currently hosting their matches in Sri Lanka because of strained political relations between the two neighboring countries, which prevented them from playing in Pakistan.

Several of India’s players are lacking match practice due to injuries and rest periods for workload management since the Test series in the West Indies. In contrast, Pakistan holds an advantage having already played a match in the tournament.

India might be concerned about Babar’s form. He has spent the majority of the past two months batting on Sri Lankan pitches, participating in the Test series in June, followed by the Lankan Premier League, and then facing Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series.

In the five ODIs against India, Babar has scored 158 runs at an average of 31.6. His highest score of 48 was achieved in the last World Cup at Old Trafford before Kuldeep Yadav dismissed him.

Since taking over the captaincy, the 28-year-old Babar has developed and become difficult to dismiss once he survives the initial overs.

In addition to having a consistent top-three batsmen, Pakistan’s middle-order batters who can make an impact during the crucial middle overs have played a significant role in their top ranking in ODIs. While Babar was frustrated by Mohammad Rizwan’s unexpected run out on Wednesday, Iftikhar Ahmed performed exceptionally well.


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