LAHORE - Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam has said that he wants to be No 1 in all the three formats, which requires hard work and he is working hard to achieve this target soon.

Babar vowed to do well in Test cricket, saying that he is playing well in white-ball cricket. “I dream to be No 1 in all the three formats but for that hard work is needed. I am working very hard to achieve this target,” Babar said this during a press conference held here at the PCB Head­quarters on Wednesday. He said that the national squad is excited to play in the upcom­ing home series against West Indies, slated to start on June 8 in Multan — the post COV­ID-19 scenario.

“It feels good to meet and interact with the media in this way [physically],” Babar said while addressing a press con­ference. The cricketers had been holding virtual press con­ferences and media talks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Weath­er shouldn’t be an excuse. The national squad is preparing in full swing to play in such weather. The weather might be hot but the team is fully pre­pared,” he added.

The Pakistan captain said that he is focused on a clean sweep in the home ODI series against West Indies. “There are no weak teams in interna­tional cricket and every team can give tough time in any con­ditions. You have to play well in order to win which is why we will try to continue playing positive cricket, like we have been doing in the past.”

Babar also reflected on the weather of Multan, where the matches will be played. “No doubt that it will be very hot in Multan but we have tried to get accustomed to the weather in the conditioning camp. The aim of starting training ses­sions late afternoon to ensure that playing in Multan does not become more difficult. The matches will not be taken lightly, as the series in the ICC World Cup League is impor­tant and will try to get all the points,” he added.

It’s too early for young wicketkeeper Mohammad Haris to get a chance in place of Mohammad Rizwan, says Babar Azam

The skipper said that it’s too early for young wicketkeep­er Mohammad Haris to get a chance in place of Mohammad Rizwan. “It’s too early to give chance to Haris because Riz­wan has done well for us con­sidering the position he plays. Form can be up and down but I consider Rizwan as a very im­portant part of the team and someone who always has my back,” he said. “We will look at other players in the camp and make changes to our team com­bination accordingly,” he added.

Babar also spoke about play­ing in-form Shan Masood lower down the order due to tough competition in the top-order. “It would be unfair to play Shan Masood at number five or six position as he is not used to it. We are closely following him and we will use him whenev­er needed,” he asserted. Shan is part of the Test squad as the third opener, but his form across formats has stirred a debate about including him in all three formats. Masood is currently leading Derbyshire Falcons in T20 Blast while he was the top scorer for them in the County Championship with 844 runs before the T20 com­petition started.

Last week, Chief selector Mohammad Wasim also re­vealed that he is close to get­ting picked in the white-ball squads, preferably in middle-order but it seems like Babar Azam is not satisfied with the idea. The series will begin on June 8 in Multan, with the second and third ODI set to take place on June 10 and 12 respectively.