Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan batsman Babar Azam has admitted that he loves playing under pressure and never worries about losing his place in the team and being removed as captain.
Azam’s comments came ahead of the tour of New Zealand, where he is expected to lead by example.
The 26-year-old has been in sensational form as of late as he made scores of 19, 77 not out and 125 in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, and followed it up by making 82 and 51 in the first two T20 Internationals. He didn’t bat in the third match of the series.
He continued to shine in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) playoffs as he scored 65 in the Qualifier and 63 not out in the final to lead the Karachi Kings to their first-ever title.
“We are continuously playing cricket. We have gained a lot of confidence from our victories and that is why we are hopeful for a good showing against New Zealand,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan. “You are always under pressure in international cricket. When I was announced as the white-ball captain, there was pressure. Challenges come your way and you accept them.
“I have learned a lot through white-ball cricket and players such as Sarfaraz Ahmed and Azhar Ali. The team relies on me and I try to take responsibility when our side is batting. The real joy of cricket is playing under pressure. I enjoy playing cricket. I am not threatened that I will be removed if we lose against New Zealand. I have been given complete confidence from management and a free hand in decision-making.”
Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests in New Zealand, with the series beginning on December 18 and concluding on January 7.