File image of Babar Azam© AFP
Pakistani skipper Babar Azam said on Monday that he hopes a seven-game run against England starting this week in Karachi will help him return to his best-scoring form after a meager Asian Cup earlier this month. The 27-year-old scored just 68 runs in six games in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan came second to Sri Lanka. England are on their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years, in a series seen as part of the build-up to next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. “I hope to return at my best in this series… and it will be good if it happens before the World Cup,” Azam told reporters on Monday.
The meager patch saw Azam dethroned as the world’s top-rated T20I batsman, after reigning for 1,155 days and ceding the title to his opening partner Mohammad Rizwan last week.
Azam, who is Pakistan’s top T20I run getter with 2,754 runs in 80 games, said he keeps things simple when hitting. “I think less about failures when I go through a bad patch,” Azam said. “As a batsman you have to do your best to get your form back and it would be great to do that before the World Cup.”
Azam was the top scorer in last year’s Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, with 303 runs in a tournament where Pakistan crashed into the semi-finals. Zam said the England series was a “great opportunity”.
“Of course they came to Pakistan after 17 years, so it’s a big series and it will help get us on our way to the World Cup so that all players will take advantage of this,” he said. The matches will be played in Karachi (September 22, 23, 25) and in Lahore (September 28, 30 and October 2).
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