Pak vs Ned: Pakistan start World Cup 2023 campaign today
HYDERABAD: Green Shirts are hoping to make a successful start to their World Cup 2023 campaign when they take on minnows Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium today.
Since arriving in the city late last month, which also marked the first instance of a Pakistan men’s side landing in India in seven years, the team has made the most of the training sessions and two warm-up games to acclimatise in the city.
Pakistan are scheduled to play the first two of their nine league matches in Hyderabad.
“We have been in Hyderabad for a week and our preparations have been really good,” Babar told PCB Digital on the eve of Pakistan’s tournament opener.
“We have had two practice matches in which we tried different combinations and gave everyone an opportunity to see if they could play in any situation. Overall our practice went well and we will give our best.”
When asked about his team’s strengths, the skipper said, both bowling and batting are their strengths.
“Our batters have been performing from the top-order down to the lower-order. Every player is stepping up and taking responsibility. In bowling, our fast bowling has always been our strength but even our spinners are showing promise. Since we have come to India, we have seen our spinners take wickets in the middle overs, which is a good sign. We will try and keep this momentum going.”
When Pakistan take on the Netherlands today, it will be the first time in a little less than in 11 years that they will play an ODI on Indian soil. They have not played a single 50-over international game in Hyderabad since 1987.
The Friday meeting between Pakistan and the Netherlands would be the seventh time they face off in an ODI. The two sides have faced off six times in the format, their first meeting in the 1996 iteration of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, and Pakistan have come out victorious on each occasion.
Pakistan toured the Netherlands last year for what was the first bilateral series between the two sides, and recorded a clean-sweep.
Pakistan’s World Cup prospects
Pakistan enter the 50-over World Cup as one of the favourites after an impressive run in the just-concluded World Cup cycle as they had the best win-loss ratio of 2.400 with 24 wins in 36 matches.
That the team has performed so consistently has also been because of their mainstays emerging as solid performers over the years.
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