Having played in the United Arab Emirates for the past three-four years, Pakistan captain Babur Assam is confident that his team will beat arch-rivals India in the opening match of the T20 World Cup.
Pakistan face India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. With them winning six T20 matches, they go into the match on the back of an unbeaten record at that point.
“We have been playing cricket in the UAE for the last 3-4 years and we know the conditions very well,” the ICC said.
“We know how the wicket behaves. Whoever plays the best cricket will win the match on that day. If you ask me, we will win,” said the star batsman, who will start playing his first T20 World Cup and make his captaincy debut.
Following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, the United Arab Emirates relocated to its home ground after international teams were reluctant to tour Pakistan for security reasons.
Pakistan have not won a World Cup match in ODIs and T20s against India, but Assam is not worried, he said, adding that it is a thing of the past.
“We know the pressure and the intensity of every game, especially the first game. Hopefully, we can win the tournament and move forward with speed.
“Your confidence and confidence as a team before a match is very important. As a team, our confidence and determination are very high. We don’t think about the past and think about the future. We are preparing for it.
“I am fully prepared and I fully believe we will play good cricket on that day,” he added.
Speaking about his side of the mix of youth and experience, Assam said, “After a good domestic performance, all the players entered the side.”
“We have a lot to learn from the senior players on the team because they have more experience and they have played in the World Cup and leagues before.
“All 7-8 players on our team have played in the Champions Trophy, expressing different beliefs before that.”
There will also be the services of former Pakistan opener Matthew Hayden and South African fast bowler Vernon Blander, who have been appointed as batting and bowling advisers for the tournament.
“Hayden and Blander have a lot of experience. We will try our best to learn from them as soon as possible. The boys have the ability to absorb and mix with them quickly.
“Blander has already started working hard with the bowlers and you can see the past record. The bowlers will win the match for you. Hasan Ali is our best bowler in the Champions Trophy. He will take the bowling line-up with him,” Assam said.
Pakistan will play their practice matches against the West Indies on October 18 and South Africa on October 20 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.