Shaheen Afridi Backs Babar, Rizwan as the Best Openers

I don’t think Babar Azam is in bad form, he has scored so many runs that I can’t even count: National Team T20 Captain Shaheen Afridi.

Auckland: In a pre-series press conference ahead of the first T20 match against New Zealand, National T20 team captain Shaheen Afridi expressed unwavering confidence in the opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, stating that they are, and will continue to be, the best combination for the team.

Shaheen Afridi dismissed concerns about Babar Azam’s recent form, emphasizing the prolific run-scoring record of the captain. “I don’t think Babar’s form is going bad,” remarked Afridi. “Babar Azam has scored so many runs that I can’t even count, so his one or two innings doesn’t matter.”

Shaheen Afridi’s Pre-series Press Conference.

Looking ahead to the 17 T20 matches before the World Cup, Afridi highlighted the team’s intention to experiment with different combinations to assess player performances.

He explained that these trials during the New Zealand tour would help the team decide on the optimal positions for each player before heading into the series against England. “Before the World Cup, we want to know who will play in which number and position,” stated Afridi.

Addressing the importance of maintaining player fitness leading up to the World Cup, Afridi emphasized the need to avoid injuries and prevent any decline in performance.

He assured that he is fully fit and acknowledged the management’s cautious approach to his participation in the T20 series against New Zealand, prioritizing Test cricket.

Afridi reflected on the team’s T20 performance by expressing his pride in leading the national team. While acknowledging good results in T20 events, he lamented the team’s inability to secure desired outcomes in crucial stages of tournaments.

Afridi stressed the importance of minimizing mistakes, particularly in the semi-finals and finals of major events like the World Cup.

During the conference, Afridi spoke about the inclusion of some players making a comeback and the introduction of new faces to the team. He expressed the team’s commitment to providing opportunities to all players during the New Zealand tour.

Regarding his bowling performance, Afridi acknowledged that early wickets in T20 matches are challenging but reiterated the team’s efforts to meet expectations. He called for support during defeats and victories, emphasizing the significance of backing the team during challenging times.

As the T20 series against New Zealand kicks off tomorrow, Shaheen Afridi’s words not only affirm the strength of the team but will also be an opportunity for Pakistan to fine-tune its strategies and rectify past mistakes on the road to international T20 success.

The first T20 series match will commence tomorrow at Eden Park Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.