LAHORE, Jan 23 (APP):Pakistan T20 captain, Babar Azam, has said his specific aim is to win three T20 international match series against Bangladesh and retain his team’s status of World Champions.

“It is a very important series for us and definitely we will be going all-out to produce desired results at our homeground to retain our number one status as the World T20 Champions,” he said at a news conference here on Thursday at Gaddafi Stadium.

Babar said it would be the for the first time that he would be captaining the team in Pakistan and he was looking forward to the series with optimism and a professional approach to beat the touring side.

He rejected a questioner that the home side would be under pressure after suffering a three-match series whitewash at the hands of the young Sri Lankan few months ago.
“It is the saga of past now and we will be taking a fresh start,” he said.

The home captain said his young and talented side is eager to take on a tough challenge of the touring side in a decent way. “Bangladesh team is a blend of senior and juniors and it has the ability to beat any opposing team and if you look at the composition of our team it has young blood in the ranks with Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi adding fire in our pace attack,” he said.

Babar Azam said Pak team is well prepared for the series and all the players are in good physical trim and right frame of mind to showcase their talent.

To a question he said he anticipates that wicket will be slow and the ball will also be coming slow and the final combination of the team will be announced keeping in view the playing conditions and the nature of the wicket.

Regarding the recall of veterans duo of Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez he said he put up his suggestion before the team management to consider both of the players and he was thankful that he suggestion was duly considered.

“Shoaib and Hafeez are very talented players and their presence will infuse confidence in the team besides it will be a big way of learning for me as a captain,” said Babar Azam in a candid way.

“We will be giving them (Shoaib and Hafeez) fair chance in all the three matches in view of their standing and expertise in the game,” he added.

Babar said he has come long way to lead the side after starting as a ball picker at the same arena about 13 years ago and it is a memorable moment in his career and life to captain the side at the famous Gaddafi Stadium.

Bangladesh Captain Muhammadullah Riyad said his team will be putting up good performance to beat worlds top notch T20 team Pakistan and his team look forward to play exciting cricket in the series.

He did not agree to a questioner that security will be their main concern in the tour. “The moment we boarded the plane we set-a-side this factor (security) and our full concentration is to play quality cricket to achieve good results,” he said.

“Pakistan team is the world champions and it played good cricket in its T20 matches in the past but at the same time our performance in our two previous international T20 series is quite good and we look forward to repeat similar show against Pakistan in their own backyard,” said the touring captain in a confident tone.

To a question ,he said, his team is a blend of experience and youth and team’s main strength will be good performance on part of all the players though a lot of hopes have been pinned with the young players in the side.

“I think everybody will be aiming to play his best cricket and such a positive thought can be key to success β€œ,said the Bangladesh captain.

“If I get the chance to bat in the top order ,I will be happy but at the same time it is important to contribute for the team and I think that every team member has the similar mindset,” he continued.

He urged the young players of the team to live up to the expectations and perform well in the exciting format of the game and expressed the hope that they are up to the same task.

He said the atmosphere is good for cricket in Pakistan and now the stage has come to perform well. “It is good to be back in Pakistan, I have been here before and i will enjoy playing cricket to inspire his team to success,” he asserted.

Answering a question he said they were not expecting such a reception upon teams arrival in Pakistan and they did not experience it before and he is loving it at the moment.

“As far as security is concerned, I think Pakistan has provided us the best security and I am really delighted with such arrangements,” said the touring captain.

He praised the batting talent of Pak captain Babar Azam and said he is giving good performance in all the three formats of the game which is evident from his top ranking in the T20.

“We will be taking into consideration the batting strength of Pakistani players and we will be planning accordingly to counter them,” he said adding “The tour of Pakistan is a part of our preparations for the World Cup and a chance to win in Pakistan and we are look forward to it.”

Squads: (From)
Pakistan – Babar Azam (captain) (Central, Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, Haris Rauf (Northern), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim (Northern), Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan (Northern), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Usman Qadir.

Bangladesh – Mahmudullah (captain), Tamim Iqbal Khan, Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain, Litton Das, MD Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Hasan Mahmud.