Azhar Mahmood confident in Pakistan’s strength ahead of New Zealand series

LAHORE  -   Pakistan cricket team’s head coach Azhar Mahmood expressed strong confidence in his team’s capabilities, emphasising the squad’s robust composition and strategic preparations for their upcoming home series against New Zealand.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, head coach Azhar Mahmood said: “The composition of our team, with its blend of experienced batters, agile fast bowlers, and versatile all-rounders, fills me with great confidence.”The coach highlighted significant enhancements to the team with the return of seasoned players such as pacer Mohammad Amir and all-rounder Imad Wasim. “Their comeback will undoubtedly bolster our team’s strength,” he added.

Azhar Mahmood discussed the formidable nature of the visiting New Zealand team, noting their strong track record but reinforcing the unpredictable nature of the T20 format. “In T20 cricket, every team has the potential to be competitive; no opponent can be underestimated,” he remarked.

The head coach also addressed potential strategic shifts in the team lineup, hinting at the possibility of resting key players like Babar Azam to refine the team’s combination.

“We are open to experimenting to ensure we find the optimal team dynamics,” he explained.

Among the players, Azhar Mahmood expressed particular enthusiasm for all-rounder Aamer Jamal, whom he described as a promising future talent. “Aamer Jamal has shown exceptional skill, and I foresee him becoming a significant figure in international cricket,” he said.

While the question of who will open the batting remains a closely guarded secret, Mahmood teased that the decision would be unveiled by April 18. “We prefer to maintain an element of surprise regarding our opening pair,” he said, sparking curiosity and anticipation.

Reflecting on the recent fitness camp at Kakul, Azhar Mahmood shared his satisfaction with the physical conditioning and preparedness of the players. “The fitness camp has left everyone, including myself, very impressed with the physical state of our team,” he said.

In addition to fitness, the head coach was optimistic about the talent within the squad. “We are abundant in talent. The next step is to hone that talent into world-class performance on the field,” he asserted. About Shaheen Shah Afridi’s condition, Azhar Mahmood said: “Shaheen Shah Afridi is in top form, fully fit, and ready to deliver his best,” he concluded.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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