Pakistan eager to trump India in its home conditions during World Cup: Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq hits a shot during a match against New Zealand on January 02, 2023. — AFP

Pakistani left-handed batter Imam-ul-Haq has recently said that the national side is well-prepared for the International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s World Cup 2023 and is eager to defeat India on their home ground.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News on Saturday, the opening batter stated that the Green Shirts have been focused on the mega event since the last edition in 2019.

“We had already started thinking about the 2023 World Cup during the 2019 World Cup. Everyone wants to beat India in India and perform well,” Imam said.

He was also excited to see the competition for the opening spot in the Pakistan side.

“The competition for the opening spot is a good thing for the side. When you see players come into the team with a new batting style, it improves your own performance. These youngsters bat with a fearless approach in PSL as well, which is great to see. It also helps us, who have been playing for six to seven years, realise that we need to improve our game,” he said.

The 27-year-old also opened up about facing express pacers in the nets, with Pakistan having the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf in their ranks.

“Playing fast bowlers in the nets helps a lot since it makes things easier for us in international cricket. During international matches, we only face express pace when Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins or Lockie Ferguson are bowling. However, in the nets we face bowlers bowling at 140kph on a daily basis,” he said.

The Multan-born was also satisfied with the side’s preparations for the upcoming assignments.

“Our preparations for the upcoming World Cup are pretty good. We have formed a balanced side, which is playing regularly. We will get eight matches before the Asia Cup, which is adequate in my opinion,” he said.

“We also have time to prepare for the New Zealand series, which we will use to play practice matches,” he added.

Imam is currently part of Pakistan’s ODI squad which will take on New Zealand in a five-match ODI series in April-May.

Series schedule 

14 Apr – 1st T20I, Lahore

15 Apr – 2nd T20I, Lahore

17 Apr – 3rd T20I, Lahore

20 Apr – 4th T20I, Rawalpindi

24 Apr – 5th T20I, Rawalpindi

27 Apr – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi

29 Apr – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi

3 May – 3rd ODI, Karachi

5 May – 4th ODI, Karachi

7 May – 5th ODI, Karachi

The T20Is will begin at 9pm; whereas, ODIs will begin at 3:30pm.

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