If Fakhar Zaman stays for 30 overs, we can achieve required NRR for semi-final: Babar Azam

"It is not as if you go all guns blazing from the start itself," said Babar Azam on Pakistan's prospect of qualifying for the WC semi-final.

By Arfath Pasha S

Updated - 10 Nov 2023, 17:02 IST

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Pakistan faces a crucial showdown against England in the ICC World Cup 2023 during their final match of the league stage. New Zealand's victory over Sri Lanka has complicated Pakistan's path to the semi-finals. To secure a spot, Pakistan must achieve a resounding victory against England, putting recent form debates aside. Captain Babar Azam exudes confidence and optimism as they prepare for this high-stakes encounter.

During the press conference, Babar showed confidence while responding to journalists' questions about the challenging scenarios to reach the semi-finals against England. The right-handed batter emphasized the team's commitment to a strategic game plan. He underscored the crucial role of Fakhar Zaman's prolonged presence at the crease, highlighting that it could significantly boost Pakistan's chances of meeting the necessary Net Run Rate target.

“We do have planning going into the game. It is not as if you go all guns blazing from the start itself. We need to plan accordingly as to how the first 10 overs need to be played and then the next 20 overs. We need to achieve those targets first, which includes partnerships and knowing which player has to spend ample amount of time in the middle. Having said that, if you ask me, if Fakhar stays for 20-30 overs we can achieve whatever we are being asked to,” Babar said during the Press Conference.

Also Check: ODI World Cup 2023 Points Table

Pakistan’s chances of getting into semis seem unattainable 

New Zealand’s dominant five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka complicated Pakistan’s path to the semi-finals, extending the Kiwis' lead in the points table. Although Pakistan can match New Zealand's 10 points, their net run rate presents a challenge. New Zealand boasts a 0.74 net run rate. To reach 0.75, Pakistan must win by a margin of 287 runs or more when batting first. If bowling first, they need to chase the target with 284 deliveries to spare.

When Pakistan is chasing, these scenarios remain speculative, and the required deliveries will fluctuate based on the runs conceded. Pakistan's genuine opportunity lies in setting a formidable target by batting first, ideally scoring 400, and subsequently limiting England to 112 runs. This would propel Pakistan's Net Run Rate above New Zealand's. The fourth-ranked team in the points table will square off against India in the first semi-final of WC 2023 at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, except Pakistan, who will play at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata if they qualify.

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