Babar refuses to take Bangladesh lightly

Publish: 8:12 PM, November 25, 2021 | Update: 8:12:PM, November 25, 2021

CHATTOGRAM, —Pakistan captain Babar Azam refused to take Bangladesh lightly despite the hosts being without the service of their three key players—Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad.

Tamim has already opted out of the series and Mahmudullah, who hit 150 not out in Bangladesh’s last Test against Zimbabwe has retired from Test cricket. Shakib meanwhile failed to pass the fitness test and was sidelined from the opening Test. He could even miss the second one also.

“The difference is that it is their home team and we cannot take them easily,” Babar Azam said here today.

“It’s true that they are a young team but they are playing in their home conditions. They can give us a tough time and we need to be focused. I have full faith in the team and we need to be patient and the result will take care of itself. We will play hard cricket.”

Pakistan has been in a good run under the captaincy of Babar Azam in all formats of cricket of late. They won the series against South Africa and Zimbabwe at home before drawing a series against West Indies, which was its first series in ICC WTC.

Babar said prioritizing team over individual success is key to their recent success.

“I think the role as a captain becomes easy when everyone is responding on the spot and taking responsibility and giving their hundred percent,” he said.

“We need to back the cricketers and a team becomes consistent when you are playing the same team. We have got rid of individual culture because it’s a team game and no one is above the team. It’s all about the team first and only after that individual matters.”

He, though looked unhappy with the little gap between T20 and Test series, said that as a professional team, they need to switch on as soon as possible.

“ Test match is very important even though we had little time (to prepare) . I think our Test cricketers are coming after completing a season and we have utilized the days that we are getting. I think the time is short and as a result it will be better if we can switch as soon as possible,” he remarked.

“I don’t think it is easy to make the transformation but the time is short and we had one day of travel and two day practice so it’s true that time is short but as a professional as soon as possible you should switch on and get back into Test mode. We are playing a lot of cricket back to back due to covid and everything. We have been playing white ball cricket for a while and now we are playing Test cricket so you have to show patience.”