Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Wednesday (October 13) expressed great confidence in his team's chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup, slated to be held in UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
It will be Babar’s first appearance in the T20 World Cup as a player and captain. He has led Pakistan in 28 T20Is so far, winning 15 of those games.
"I am very happy and proud to go to the T20 World Cup as a captain," he said at Pakistan's pre-departure press conference.
"We know the pressure and the high intensity of each game, especially the first one. Hopefully, we can win the match and carry the momentum forward."
Pakistan will open their T20 World Cup campaign against India in Dubai on October 24. They are yet to beat the arch-rivals in the World Cup, whether it is the 20-over format or the ODI.
However, Babar is keen to rewrite history books this time around.
"Your belief and confidence as a group matter a lot before a tournament," he said. "As a team, our confidence and morale are really high. We are not thinking of the past but the future. We are preparing for that. I am fully confident that we are well prepared and will play good cricket on the day."
"We've been playing cricket in UAE for the past 3-4 years and we know the conditions really well. We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustments batters will have to make. On the day who plays the better cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we will win,” he further remarked.
While the Pakistan squad is predominantly a young one, it also includes veteran campaigners such as Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.
"All the players have entered the side after a good domestic performance. We have a lot to learn from the senior players in the side because they have so much experience, they have played the World Cup and leagues before. 7-8 players in our squad have also played the Champions Trophy before which brings out different confidence."
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden and ex-South Africa pacer Vernon Philander will be part of the Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup as batting and bowling consultants, respectively.
"Hayden and Philander bring a lot of experience. Our attempt will be to learn from them as much as we can and quickly," said Babar Azam. "The boys have the ability to absorb quickly and mix with them.
"You can see Philander has already started working hard with the bowlers and you can see the past record, bowlers win you the tournament. Hasan Ali was our best bowler in the Champions Trophy. He will take the bowling line-up alongside him."
(With ICC inputs)