Pakistan had an extended stay in Sri Lanka, starting with a two-match Test series in July. Subsequently, several players, including Babar, participated in the Lanka Premier League (LPL).Following the LPL, Pakistan faced Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series, which they convincingly won 3-0. Babar Azam believes that this extensive experience in Sri Lankan conditions will benefit the team in their match against India.
“We have been here since July. We have played Test matches, some league (LPL) matches, and then the ODIs (against Afghanistan). We are hoping that this will help us to do well against India tomorrow,” Babar Azam stated during a pre-match press conference.
Amidst the backdrop of the historic India-Pakistan cricket rivalry, Babar Azam dismissed talks of undue pressure on his team. He emphasized that they are solely focused on the game and not distracted by external factors.
“There is no extra pressure. Yes, the India vs. Pakistan match is always one of high intensity, but we have experienced players, and we just need to concentrate on our strengths and do well,” he added.
The anticipation surrounding the match has often led to discussions comparing Babar Azam with India’s former captain, Virat Kohli. Babar, however, expressed deep respect for Kohli and stressed the positive influence the Indian cricketer has had on him.
“I have only respect for Virat Kohli. He is elder to me, and I always respected him. When I started playing, I talked to him, and I got a lot of help from him. I don’t know what people from outside are talking about, and I leave those talks to them,” Babar Azam concluded, emphasizing his admiration and gratitude towards Kohli.
(With inputs from PTI)