Ahead of the two-match Test series against Bangladesh starting from November 26, Pakistan captain Babar Azam was confident that his team will fare better in the World Test Championship 2023 cycle. Babar further spoke about the challenges of hectic schedules and switching between different formats.
Pakistan are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against Bangladesh, which will be a part of their World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle. New Zealand won the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) earlier this year by defeating India in the final in Southampton. Pakistan won the Test series against Bangladesh, South Africa, and Sri Lanka at home while they lost away Test series against Australia, England, and New Zealand in the first edition of the competition. They finished at the sixth position in the league table of the WTC 2019-21.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Babar Azam is confident that his side will fare better in the World Test Championship 2021-23.
"I think we will fare better in the ICC Test Championship this time around,"Babar said. "If you look at our Test team, it is quite settled and the way we played against West Indies, Zimbabwe and South Africa, it proves that we are quite an experienced team and the players are performing throughout. I think it takes time for a team to come into shape and perform consistently and I think we are now getting into that shape."
Pakistan played a two-match series against West Indies in August and drew it 1-1. They will play Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and England in the second cycle of the World Test Championship. Also, the team will have to follow certain Covid protocols while having a busy schedule of limited-over fixtures and Test series. Azam admitted that hectic scheduling and switching between different formats is a difficult task for players.
"I don't think it is easy to make the transformation but the time is short and we need to adjust. We are playing a lot of cricket back to back due to COVID and everything. We have been playing white-ball cricket for a while and now it's time for Test cricket,” he said.
"We had one of day travel and two days of practice, so it's true that time is short but as a professional, you should switch on and get back into Test mode. I think our Test cricketers are coming after completing a season and we have utilised the days that we are getting. I think the time is short and as a result, it will be better if we can switch as soon as possible.”
The first Test of the two-match series against Bangladesh will be played in Chattogram. Babar stated that his side cannot underestimate the opposition as they can give Pakistan a tough time. He also reckoned that the team needs to utilize pitch conditions to the best of their ability.
"We cannot take them easily and it's true that they are a young team but they are playing in their home conditions," Babar said. "They can give us a tough time and we need to be focused. I have full faith in the team and we need to be patient and the result will take care of itself.
"It's a typical Bangladeshi wicket and there is some grass in it. Yesterday there was some grass and today we will have a final look at the wicket. The spinners will play a role here and the pacers will also get some help early so we need to utilise the condition to the best of our ability."