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‘No need to answer anyone’ Babar slams critics before New Zealand ODIs

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam has sent a clear message to his critics, saying he does not have to appease anyone. 

“My job is to play cricket and enjoy my game,” he said in a pre-series press talk on Sunday. “I do not need to answer or satisfy anyone. I know my game and my responsibility, be it as a batsman or as a captain.”

The strong reply from Pakistan’s captain came at a time when the national side has just finished its home Test season with a series whitewash by England, followed by a nil-nil draw against New Zealand.

Ahead of the three-match One-Day international series against New Zealand, commencing tomorrow, Babar said his team would try to switch from the Test mode as quickly as possible and continue their momentum in the white-ball format.

“We have been playing positive cricket in white ball. We will try to continue this momentum and begin this new year with positive results” he added.

Talking about Shan Masood’s possible inclusion in the playing XI since he has been named as the team’s vice-captain in the upcoming ODIs, the skipper maintained that none of the players was certain to play the upcoming matches.

“At this moment, I cannot say about any individual player, be it vice-captain or XYZ, that he will be part of playing XI ” he said.

“We will play our best XI and try to win this series” he added.

With three uncapped – Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir and Kamran Ghulam – and two returning – Haris Sohail and Shan – players selected in the squad, Babar insisted it was not difficult for him to accommodate new faces in the team.

“They (Haris and Shan) have already played for Pakistan. Tayyab Tahir and Kamran Ghulam are the top performers in domestic cricket and they must grab it if they are given the opportunity to play for the national team” he said

The three-match series is a part of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. The second and third ODIs will take place on January 11 and 13, respectively.

Pakistan ODI Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir and Usama Mir

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