Pakistan cricket team is currently enjoying a purple patch after 4-1 victory against New Zealand in One Day Internationals (ODI), while skipper Babar Azam is also having the time of his life as he played his 100th match of the format a day earlier.
The 28-year-old skipper, whose captaincy been the talk of the town since Najam Sethi took charge as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s interim management committee, has repeatedly said that he doesn’t follow gossips about his captaincy rather he is focused on his performance and team’s performance.
In response to a similar question asked during the post-match press conference last night, Babar said that he hasn’t been informed whether he will stay as the captain or not till the mega event — World Cup — scheduled for later this year.
The Tom Latham-captained Black Caps captured a 47-run consolation win in the fifth and final ODI of the series in Karachi on Sunday to avoid a series whitewash and knock Pakistan off their world number one ranking in the format.
Green Shirts defeat means Pakistan’s rise to number one in the ODI rankings lasted just 48 hours and they are now third behind Australia and India.
Commenting on the team’s performance in the last ODI, Babar said: “We tried to clean sweep the Black Caps but the way we planned, we couldn’t finish it that way.”
“We planned to finish the series on a better note; however, early wickets led to our defeat,” he lamented.
“However, the entire series was outstanding. There were good performances. There were many positives, we were able to check on our bench strength.”
The skipper said that all matches scheduled before the World Cup will provide the team an opportunity to prepare for the mega event.
In response to a question regarding Imam-ul-Haq’s cryptic post, Babar shrugged off the question by saying he hasn’t seen the tweet yet; however, will see the post later.
A day earlier, opening batter Imam wrote a cryptic post after he wasn’t included in the playing XI for fifth and last ODI against New Zealand in Karachi.
After scoring 90 runs and bagging man-of-the-match award in the third ODI, Imam was dropped from the fourth and fifth ODI.
On Sunday before the last ODI of the series, Imam wrote, “Life is an unexpected journey so never expect anything from anyone”. Be patient, Allah is watching!”
Regarding his records, the skipper said that when he achieves a new milestone, he tries to work even harder and not just sits around.
The 4-1 result of the five-match ODI series was a fair reflection of the gulf between the full-strength hosts and a New Zealand squad lacking the services of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and other top players.
However, Babar shrugged off these reports saying that the Men in Green don’t play cricket by looking at the number of senior players in any team.
A holiday crowd of around 20,000 had come in anticipation of Babar making his 100th ODI memorable but they were left disappointed when Pakistan skipper was caught off a miscued shot off Shipley for a five-ball one.