LONDON, 09 July: Pakistan captain and top-ranked ODI batsman Babar Azam is hoping his side will make a comeback in the second ODI against hosts England at Lord’s.
The hosts, led by stand-in skipper Ben Stokes with five debutants, thrashed Pakistan by nine wickets in the ODI series opener at Cardiff.
“To be honest, we were a bit loose with the bat, and that’s why we didn’t get a big total,” said Azam after the match.
“I don’t think we misread the conditions, but credit goes to their bowlers. The momentum they had, and the fact that we couldn’t get a big partnership, is why we didn’t get a big total.”
The Pakistan tour features three ODI matches and three Twenty20 (T20) matches.
Two days before the ODI opener, most of the England team was put under quarantine and a makeshift squad was set up. When Azam was asked if his side thought of calling off the trip, he said: “No, we didn’t think about it, it didn’t come into our minds at any time.”
“The PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] and ECB have assured us that they will take care of the safety and health of all squad members. Of course it was disappointing news. We must understand that these are unprecedented times of COVID-19. We are focusing on cricket and the first game.”
Speaking to the media in Cardiff where Pakistan were yet to take on the hosts playing with nine players uncapped at the ODI level, Azam said his side is not underestimating the revised squad of the hosts.
“We can’t take any player playing for England lightly,” said Azam.
“They may be new players but they are playing for England. I know a few of them having played in the T20 Blast and we researched the performances of those we don’t know”
The teams will now move to Lord’s for the second ODI face off on Saturday.
‘Luckily, we got Babar out earlier’ man-of-the-match Saqib Mahmood
England’s man-of-the-match against Pakistan in first ODI, Saqib Mahmood believes that the early wicket of Babar Azam gave some sort of relief to his team.
While addressing a post-match press conference after receiving his match-winning award, Saqib said he couldn’t believe of taking two early wickets to take his team on the top.
“I got a fine start by taking two wickets in the first over. Especially that wicket of Babar was very important for us. Had he stayed for long, he could have made a difference. Luckily, we got him out earlier,” he said.