Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Wednesday said the upcoming Test series against England at home will give his team its best shot to grab a final spot in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
Pakistan has won four, lost three and drawn two matches in its WTC campaign to be placed at the fifth position in the overall standings.
“It is a very important series for us because England plays a Test series in Pakistan after 17 years and also because we want to play in the World Test (Championship) final,” Babar said.
Pakistan will play three Tests against England, starting here on Thursday.
Pakistan pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi is undergoing rehabilitation following an injury to his knee but Babar didn’t agree that his absence will leav its bowling attack depleted.
“Our bowling has been our source of strength for a while now whether it is red-ball or white-ball formats. The bowlers have always come good for us,” he said.
Pakistan has included three pacers in its Test squad - Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Junior and Mohammad Ali - who have yet to play Tests although the first two have appeared in plenty of white-ball cricket.
Babar said the fact that Pakistan has played in the finals of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup was a boost for the side although a number of players were different in the Test squad.
“But I think the confidence and spirit of the dressing room rubs off on all the players regardless of which format they are playing,” he added.
Babar said England has an experienced bowling attack and it is coming into the series with some good results, having won six Tests at home.
“I think England are well placed because they have James Anderson who is very experienced and gives them an edge in that department.”
He also recalled how former foreign coach Mickey Arthur had supported him and given him confidence.
“He always felt that I could make it big at the international level and he gave me a chance, he said you just play and don’t bring negative thoughts in your mind. I remember my mindset changed when I scored three consecutive centuries against the West Indies and there was no looking back.”
Babar said he liked to play like AB de Villiers and watched him play on television and he used to practice hitting shots like him.