New Zealand‘s resounding victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday casted a daunting shadow over Pakistan‘s journey in the ODI World Cup 2023 as they now find themselves teetering on the brink of an exit because their semifinal aspirations are hanging by a thread.

The Babar Azam-led side is stuck in a do-or-die scenario, needing a monumental victory against England to salvage their dwindling hopes of a semifinal berth as they face a daunting task of not just winning the game, but marking victory by a significant margin, which is a challenging feat against the English side.

Meanwhile, England, although out of the semifinal contention, have their sights set on securing a place in the top eight of the points table, aiming for a ticket to the prestigious Champions Trophy 2025.

Ahead of their last league stage fixture at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Babar opened up on the various facets of the game and his side’s strategy to counter the 2019 World Cup champions and achieve the required run rate.

Babar Azam’s strategy for tackling the net run rate

Babar expressed his determination to pursue their goal, emphasizing the team’s commitment to executing their plans meticulously to get the required run rate. He conveyed the team’s focused mindset and their strategy for approaching the upcoming challenge, highlighting their intent to achieve the set target.

“No, it’s not like that that this matter is not in the back of the mind. It’s in our mind and we will try to do it. We will try to execute our plans and how we will go tomorrow and how we will achieve the target,” Babar Azam said in the pre-match press conference.

Also READ – ODI World Cup 2023, ENG vs PAK: Eden Gardens Pitch Report, Kolkata Weather Forecast, ODI Stats & Records | England vs Pakistan

‘We can do this’: Babar Azam

Babar emphasized the significance of strategic planning and methodical execution rather than hasty actions and stressed on the importance of a well-thought-out approach, segmenting the game into phases, especially focusing on partnerships and the duration each key player spends on the field. The 29-year-old particularly highlighted the impact that players like Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed can have on achieving their target, expressing confidence in their planned approach for the upcoming match.

“There are a lot of things in this, like a partnership, which player will stay in the pitch for how long. If you ask me, I would say if Fakhar is in the match for 20 or 30 overs, we can achieve that. Then follow up with Rizwan, Iftikhar. We can do this and we have planned for this,” the Lahore-born cricketer added to his comments.

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