Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Babar Azam in ‘no mood of taking any risk’ in T20I series

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Friday said that he was in no mood of taking any risk during the T20I series so the best possible combination will be fielded against Zimbabwe in the three-match series starting with the opener today here at the Pindi Stadium.

In a media talk, Babar said: “We will field the best combination in the T20 series as we are in no mood of experiments. If a youngster fits in that best combination, he will be given a chance. Our priority is to win the series fair and square. You have seen competitive cricket during the ODIs and hopefully, you would be watching us in our best shape in T20s too.”

He said that Shoaib Malik has already been rested while Shadab Khan is unfit for the opener so the newcomers like “Abdullah Shafiq can be adjusted provided that he fits in our best combination”.

T20 skipper said that our boys learnt a lot from the ODI loss. “We are in a positive frame of mind and you would see us playing the best cricket during T20 series.”

Aiming high 

Pakistan are slowly back on the rise after a blip in the T20I format. They beat Bangladesh at home 2-0 early in the year before levelling the three-match series against England. 

These came after losing every T20I series they played in 2019, losing their No.1 position in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings.

They continue to be without the injured Shadab Khan. Imad Wasim and Ifthikar Ahmed will likely continue in the spin department. Zimbabwe’s up and coming all-rounder Wesley Madhevere had a solid ODI series and will be keenly watched again.

There were quite a few positives for the Zimbabwe team from the ODI series: Two batsmen, Brendan Taylor and Seal Williams, made hundreds, while Blessing Muzarabani topped the wickets chart with seven in the three games, including a five-wicket haul.

Head to head

Zimbabwe have never beaten Pakistan in a T20I, but after a confidence-boosting Super Over win in the final ODI, the visitors will hope to make more impact in the shortest format of the game.

When these teams met in Harare in 2018 for a T20I series, Hamilton Masakadza was the Zimbabwe captain and Sarfaraz Ahmed led the Pakistan side. Leadership aside, a lot has changed for both teams. Zimbabwe have built a strong bowling core, while Pakistan have impressive young talent coming through in all departments.

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