The Babar Azam-led Pakistan side on Saturday announced their 12-man squad for their opening clash of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Dubai on Sunday.
The Pakistan team management has decided to include senior and experienced cricketers in their playing XI for the much-awaited blockbuster clash against arch-rivals India.
Babar Azam-led squad will aim to break their World Cup jinx against the Men in Blue in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as India have beaten the Green Brigade in all of their 12 matches at the T20 and 50-over World Cups so far.
Recently, when asked about his team’s dismal 0-5 record against India in T20 World Cup matches, Babar had said that his side has played a lot of cricket in the UAE and knows the conditions well.
“Definitely we have played a lot of cricket in the UAE. These conditions suit us and we know how to play here. We need to keep things simple in all the departments,” he had said.
After opening their campaign against the Virat Kohli-led Team India, Pakistan will next face New Zealand at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah October 26.
The Green Brigade will next take on Afghanistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai October 29 before facing the two qualifers on November 2 and 7 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.
The two semifinals will be held on November 10 and November 11 with the final to be played on November 14 in Dubai.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Men in Green had suffered a defeat against South Africa by six wickets in a thrilling warm-up match at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.
However, in their first warm-up match at the ICC Academy Cricket ground in Dubai on October 18, Pakistan had thrashed West Indies by seven-wicket.
Although the cricket world is waiting for the most-awaited blockbluster clash between the two neighbouring nations, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar had said that his country’s “real anger” was directed towards New Zealand and not Team India as the Kiwis had recently abandoned their tour to his which was followed by England.
“Our real anger is with New Zealand. We will take it out on them, we have no issues with you (India),” Akhtar said while talking during India Today’s show Salaam Cricket 2021.
Significantly on September 17, the Kiwi cricket team had abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert.
The development took place a few minutes before the first ODI match between Pakistan and New Zealand.
Following New Zealand’s last-minute decision to cancel their limited-overs tour had not gone well with Akhtar, who had slammed the touring Kiwi team and its cricket board, saying “NZ just killed Pakistan cricket”.
“Sad scenes & news from Rawalpindi. Following points for New Zealand to remember: 9 Pakistanis were killed in the Christchurch attack. Pakistan stood strong with New Zealand. Pakistan toured New Zealand in the worst of Covid circumstances regardless of the crude treatment by NZ authorities on that tour,” Akhtar had expressed.
“This was just an unverified threat, it could have been discussed. Prime Minister Imran Khan personally spoke to his NZ counterpart and assured but it was still refused. Pakistan has safely hosted South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe & PSL,” he had added.
Later, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had also cancelled their men’s and women’s short tour of Pakistan, which was severely criticised by many former cricketers.