Numerous Pakistani players have been actively participating in Sri Lanka since the Test series held in July, with subsequent involvements in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) and the bilateral ODIs against Afghanistan.
“Given the continuous cricket we are playing both in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, you can say that we hold an edge (over India),” said Babar in the pre-match press conference.
“We have been playing here in Sri Lanka for the past two months or so. We have played Tests, we played a series against Afghanistan and then the LPL… So it can be said that we have an advantage.”
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Despite the tournament’s scheduling necessitating Babar’s team to travel back and forth between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the right-handed batsman didn’t attach excessive significance to this logistical challenge.
“We always knew the schedule and how much we have to travel. So it’s become important how we look after our players. We have planned everything well,” he said.
The Pakistani fast bowlers, including Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah, have been in remarkable form during the Asia Cup, amassing a combined total of 23 wickets in just three matches.
Nevertheless, Babar urged his spinners to contribute in the middle overs to ensure that the pressure on their opponents remains constant and doesn’t dissipate.
“Yes, we get a good start (with the ball) and the plan always is to bowl good in middle overs. The effort is to have an effective combination. We need wickets in the middle overs, but we are not getting them.
“But you can see that we are finishing good. Our pacers are doing well at the end. This is a team performance. If someone fails, then another bowler chips in,” said Babar.
The previous India vs Pakistan encounter in the group stage of the tournament was abandoned because of rain.
Babar expressed hope that the weather would remain favorable on Sunday for their upcoming match.
“We are focusing on what is in our control. The way the sun is beaming, I don’t think it will rain a lot (on Sunday). We are trying to do as much practice as we can,” he added.
(With agency inputs)