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I have full confidence in my Test team - Babar Azam

I have full confidence in my Test team: Babar Azam

As the Pakistan team gears to face Zimbabwe in the longer format, Babar Azam addressed a pre-match press conference and Pakistan skipper looks forward to carrying winning momentum against the hosts. 

"We will try to carry winning momentum and our team is well gelled. We will look at the wicket and decide our final eleven. The pitch isn't easy here but we have adjusted to the conditions now. We are used to (the conditions) after practice sessions," said Babar.

"We were playing on bouncy wickets in South Africa and over here it kept slightly low which made it a bit difficult for us here. The pitches were double paced here which made it a bit difficult to adjust. There is a bit of grass on the pitch which will help both bowlers and batsmen (in the Test).

Babar Azam feels the seasoned campaigners in the shape of Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali and Hasan Ali make Pakistan a very strong outfit.

"I have full confidence in my test squad, we have experienced players in the shape of Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali. Hasan Ali is back on the side. I and (Mohammad) Rizwan try to finish the game and it's our plan if one batsman is set then he finishes the job," said Azam.

On a question pertaining to Shoaib Malik's recent remarks, he said, "I think these rumours should finish now as you can see on the field that I am handling everything and yes there is input from management but I know my role as a captain. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and regarding coach, PCB can answer better but I have no qualms over it as we get full support from management," said Azam.

There has been a notion that Babar Azam is a selfish player who plays for his own records but Azam dispelled such rumours and emphatically stated that he always keeps the team's interest first and foremost. 

"You can't take any team easy and Zimbabwe are their home conditions and we will give our 100%. I am very hopeful that our test openers will perform. I play according to the demands of the team, sometimes I have to play fast, sometimes slow and I change my game if need be, it might look selfish but I always keep the team's interest first.

"We will go with the winning combination and today we are going to assess conditions and might make one or two changes. I don't focus too much on records and my main aim is to contribute to the team and win matches. The sooner you learn from mistakes, the better it is for the player. Cricket is very fast and there is not a lot of time to think so it's important to get out of your comfort zone," Azam added.

Babar is happy to play under the apprenticeship of one of Pakistan's finest batsman 'Younis Khan' and says the team benefits a lot from his presence but also stressed on players to take initiative and raise their game awareness. 

"It's an honour for us that Younis khan is our batting coach and he backs us a lot and we learn a lot from him, his approach to batting, his work ethic is a source of guidance for us. As a player, I should know how to get out of the lean patch and I might have to change my technique or mindset and the more game awareness you have, the better it is for a player," Azam opined.

Upon a question regarding Shahnawaz Dhani's selection, he said the chances are against tinkering the line-up too much in the first Test but there could be changes in the second Test.

"We will see what's best for our team combination and we will first go with our main Test squad and if we feel we need to make any changes, we will do that in the second Test," said Azam.