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.

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.