Ahmedabad: Captain Babar Azam here on Friday said records are meant to be broken, and he would try to break them, including breaking the jinx haunting Pakistan at the World Cup.
“I don’t focus on the past; I try to focus on the future. Such records are made to be broken and I try to break them. I will try to give a good performance on Saturday. It depends on the day how you play. I believe my team did well in the first two matches and will do well in the next matches as well,” he told reporters on the eve of the mega match against India.
Pakistan have never beaten India at the World Cup since 1992, and would be extremely keen to make amends by pulling off the first ever at Motera’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
Babar said the India and Pakistan match is a big game, and he has told his teammates to give their best by seizing the opportunity coming their way.
“Ahmedabad is a big stadium and a lot of fans are coming. So, this is a golden opportunity for us to perform well in front of the fans and become heroes,” he said.
Asked about pacer Naseem Shah’s absence, Babar said the team misses him a lot. “First of all, we will miss Naseem Shah a lot. The way he was bowling in the Asia Cup, it was very impressive bowling – and as a youngster, the way he was improving day by day, we miss him a lot as a team, as a captain,” he said.
On Shaheen Afridi, Babar said he is the best bowler in Pakistan, and the team has full faith in him, though he has not picked up wickets as expected.
Asked how his teammates are dealing in the absence of Pakistani fans due to visa-related issues, the Pakistan Captain said it is not a pressure at all as the team has played before large spectators at big stadiums including the Melbourne Cricket Grounds in Down Under.
“This is not pressure because we have played before a lot of times in front of a large crowd, in front of big crowds in MCG and all the big stadiums. Yes, there are also big stadiums around and yes, I think Ahmedabad will only be blue. So, if Pakistani fans were allowed, it would have been good for us. So, they would support us.
“But to be honest, when we arrived in Hyderabad, I felt there were a lot of supporters of the Pakistan team and I expect that here and we are looking forward to the match,” he said.
Asked how he deals with off-field pressure ahead of a big match, Babar said, “I’ve not got calls for this – but yeah, I also got a lot of calls for tickets. Basically, people call me for tickets. We don’t take pressure about this at all.”
Replying to a query on Pakistan captain’s losing their job after losing to India, Babar said this never worries him because he did not get captaincy due to one match.
“One thing. I never worry that because of this match I will lose my captaincy. Whatever God has written for me – I will play. I will get what I deserve. I didn’t get the captaincy because of a match and I will not lose it because of a match. I believe that.
“Confidence is the same as we played in 2019 [2017 Champions Trophy] – T20, and also the World Cup. Just simple plans. This is the best opportunity for you. Best opportunity to execute your game. Go and execute it. And the main thing is to enjoy,” he said.
Talking about his poor record in ODIs against India, Babar said his fans will see some difference in next matches. “My World Cup till right now has not been as it should have been – but hopefully you will see some difference in the next matches.
Against India, we only came face to face in the World Cup. There is a big gap. It’s not because of a bowler or… I say that I sometimes get out because of my mistake. I try to make as few mistakes as possible,” he said.