Pakistan registered a comprehensive 59-run victory over Afghanistan at the R Premadasa Stadium in Sri Lanka on Saturday, completing a whitewash of the three-match series.
While interacting with the media after leading his team to the top of the ODI rankings, the Pakistan captain talked about the momentum and positivity in the dressing room after the series victory against their western neighbours, which enabled them to get into the groove ahead of the continental showpiece Asia Cup, where they will be up against their arch-rival India.
“We are excited going into the Asia Cup. The manner of our series victory over Afghanistan will serve us well in the tournament. It wasn’t as easy against Afghanistan as some people think. Everyone is aware of their spin prowess. The momentum we gained in this series will give us confidence going into the Asia Cup. We are hopeful of producing good cricket for our fans,” Babar said.
Following their 3-0 series win, Pakistan leapfrogged Australia to go top of the ICC ODI rankings.
“When you achieve the number 1 position, it gives you a lot of joy and satisfaction. This is the result of the efforts that the entire squad, including the support staff, put in. We were on top of the ODI rankings earlier but dropped to Number 2 after losing a game,” Babar added.Cricket fans are eagerly waiting for the India-Pakistan clash, which will be played on September 2 in Kendy. Once again, it will be a battle of nerves and skill between India’s legendary batting line-up and Pakistan’s remarkable pace attack.
India’s squad for Asia Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (VC), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, (Traveling stand-by player: Sanju Samson)
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve).
(With inputs from ANI)
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