While all the teams are preparing for the upcoming ODI world cup, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam states that his team is now ready for the 2023 ODI World Cup. Azam remarks that they had a “dominant” victory over New Zealand.
The confidence after the winning series is strongly seen on the face of the captain and the other team officials. All of them are very optimistic about the upcoming tournament. The Pakistan 2023 ODI World Cup team is ready to face any strong opposition on the international stage.
Last match against New Zealand:
Pakistan beat New Zealand 4-1 in the 5-match series. On their way, they briefly reached the top of the ODI rankings for the 1st time. Pakistan made 337 in the second match – their 2nd-highest successful chase in ODIs. Thus, Azam became the fastest player to make 5,000 runs in ODI in his 18th century in the format. Opener Fakhar Zaman got the distinction of hitting tons in 3 successive ODIs, firmly establishing his place in Pakistan’s top three, including opener Imam-ul-Haq.
Babar refused to accept that in missing 8 of their top players, mostly due to IPL duty. So, New Zealand were easy to beat. “You don’t play an international team thinking they are a junior team,” said Azam. “You must give 100% to win against an international team, so we played better and dominated.”
The Pakistan 2023 ODI World Cup probable squad was getting an opportunity to polish it up. Pakistan won the first 2 matches by 5 and 7 wickets in Rawalpindi before clinching the next 2 by 26 and 102 runs in the ground of Karachi. New Zealand took the final game by forty-seven runs, also in Karachi. The Kiwis were runners-up in the last two World Cups, in 2015 and 2019. Stand-in New Zealand captain Tim Latham said the entire series was useful apart from the results. He said, “We wanted to expose players to different roles, and I think it was a great opportunity for all of them to experience these conditions”. Now, the NZ team is sweating on the fitness of regular captain Williamson, who faced an injury in his knee during the IPL matches and looks likely to miss the ODI World Cup.
A great achievement for Babar Azam:
Uncertainty looms over Pakistan’s 2023 ODI World Cup team’s participation in the ODI World Cup in October-November because of issues with hosts India. In spite of that and defeat in the final match, Babar was in a pleasant mood. The skipper said, “Winning the series is great, and so is achieving the number one ranking that has set us in a good position for the World Cup,”
Asked if the uncertainty worried the Pakistani team, Babar said: “We can’t say anything about that, but wherever we get a chance to play, we will play.” The issue began last year when BCCI announced it would not permit the team to cross the border and send them to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in coming September of 2023. Asia Cup 2023 is going to be commenced just a month before the World Cup. In the meantime, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has threatened to withdraw from the World Cup.
Mickey Arthur is with the Pak cricket team:
Newly-appointed technical director Mickey Arthur told a local website that his target after taking over the Pak team is to grab the ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled to be hosted in India later this year. Mickey, who was roped in by the Pakistan Cricket Board in a part-time capacity, was the head coach of the Pak team from 2016 to 2019. During that time, he helped the squad win the 2017’s Champions Trophy, followed by becoming the first-ranked T-20I team.
“The goal is to win the World Cup. The second would be going to Australia and winning a Test series. I was lucky enough to experience that with South Africa; nothing is better. Those are two very achievable goals,” Mickey Arthur stated to a local website, as reported by the media.
As with all the other teams, Pakistan is also preparing their cricketers for the next Asia Cup and ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The captain Babar Azam is in good form, as we noticed in the Pakistan Super League and the last few international matches. So, the Pakistan 2023 ODI World Cup squad is energetic in their stand.