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Babar Azam says advantage Pakistan ahead of India clash

Arch-rivals meet again in Colombo tomorrow after their group match was abandoned due to rain
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam speaks during a press conference at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 9, 2023, on the eve of their Asia Cup super four cricket match against India. AFP
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam speaks during a press conference at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 9, 2023, on the eve of their Asia Cup super four cricket match against India. AFP

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said Saturday his side will have an edge over India in their Asia Cup Super Four clash, with a bowling line-up ready to win matches and tournaments.

The arch-rivals meet again in Colombo on Sunday after their group match was abandoned due to rain, which has played havoc with the 50-over tournament that is a precursor to the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.

Pakistan won their opening match of the Super Four stage and a second win will further enhance their chances of making the final on September 17.

But rain in the Sri Lankan capital is expected to play spoilsport again in the match, for which a reserve day has been kept aside.

“You can say we have the edge as we have played back-to-back cricket here (in Sri Lanka) and in Pakistan,” Azam told reporters.

“It has been two-and-a-half months in Sri Lanka including the Test series, Lanka Premier League, Afghanistan series, and now the Asia Cup.

“So you can say it will be an advantage (for us).” Pakistan’s pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf have stood out with 23 wickets between them and played a key role in the team’s performance so far.

Shaheen, a left-arm quick who leads the bowling, rattled India with his opening burst in the group match, taking the key wickets of skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Azam said the team believes their bowlers can win them titles. “Proud to have the fast bowlers that we have. One of the best (in the world),” said Azam.

“Fast bowlers win you tournaments and matches and I have total belief (in) them. The line-up that we have including Naseem and Faheem (Ashraf) is the best lot that we have. They have the belief and how they bowl in partnerships.

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