Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, issued a stern warning to his side as they started a run of crucial matches that will end with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023.

Beginning on August 22, Pakistan will play Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, with the Asia Cup coming right after. Babar believes Pakistan has a great momentum going their way after the Test series triumph in Sri Lanka as the team refines their preparations ahead of the World Cup in India.

“We enter this series with good momentum following our Test series victory here and we are eager to build on it,” Babar said in an interview with PCB Digital prior to the Afghanistan series.

“We have a few new faces in the team, and I wish them success for the difficulties that lie ahead. The majority of the guys had played cricket in various levels, but it feels entirely different when you don the Pakistan star.

For the series against Afghanistan, Pakistan picked a team of 18 players, including Tayyab Tahir, who filled in, and Faheem Ashraf, who rejoined the team. After being included in the squad for the three-match series, Saud Shakeel will have the opportunity to build on his Test performances in the shorter format.

Babar expressed excitement about the newest members of the team and noted how nice it was to have everyone together before three crucial months of international competition.

“Everyone witnessed how Saud Shakeel played Tests here, and Taiyab Tahir performed well in the [Emerging Teams] Asia Cup and here in Sri Lanka. “This is a great sign for Pakistan cricket that he groomed himself according to the demands of the team, and whenever anyone does that, I get very happy,” said a Pakistani cricket fan. “I am especially impressed by how Saud has transformed into a modern-day batter in such a quick time.”

The Pakistani batsman praised Afghanistan for improving as a cricketing nation and noted that while the Asia Cup and World Cup would be in the spotlight, they will only focus on one series at a time.

As the Asia Cup and the World Cup are approaching, we are concentrating on our preparations, according to Babar. The Afghan team is improving, and they have several strong bowlers.

Before the busy season, Babar also had a straightforward but impactful message for his team: “My message has always been to believe in yourself and make sure that you give it your all on the pitch.”

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