NEW DELHI: Babar Azam is simultaneously acclimatising himself to the Sri Lankan conditions, while keeping his focus on the much-anticipated high-octane Asia Cup encounter against India. He keeps his cricket pads on, facing fierce pace deliveries and playing long spells by spinners.

Currently participating in the Lanka Premier League in Sri Lanka, he is honing his skills in preparation for the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 showdown, set to unfold on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele.
After the Asia Cup, Babar will be leading Pakistan in the World Cup where the men in green will face the 2011 champions in a high-voltage clash on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad (the date change from October 15 to 14 has not been officially confirmed by the ICC yet).

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella, Babar’s captain at the Colombo Strikers team in the LPL, spoke to and gave some insights into Babar’s training ahead of the Asia Cup and World Cup.
“He is playing white ball cricket in Sri Lankan conditions. It’s a good opportunity. Sri Lankan wickets are tricky sometimes. The Colombo wicket is slow and kind of gripping. Kandy is a batting-friendly and high-scoring surface. Babar is always prepared. He is well prepared for both the Asia Cup and World Cup (vs India). He is a batter who can dominate any format,” Dickwella, who has played 54 Tests, 55 ODIs, and 28 T20Is for Sri Lanka, told in an interview.

Babar Azam (AFP Photo)
“Be it a red ball or white ball, Test format or the shortest format (T20Is), Babar is always prepared for every challenge and condition,” the Sri Lankan further said.
Babar has played 4 matches in the LPL so far and has scores of 7, 59, 41, and 104.
According to Dickwella, Babar has his eyes set on the all-important clash against India.
“Babar doesn’t remove his pads. You will always see him with his pads on. At the nets, he always has his pads on. He bats longer and longer. He is digging in hard. He is always batting. He wants to improve and grow every day. He wants to be a better player. He is in the top 3 in all formats. That’s a huge achievement for him. He is a wonderful human being. I am sure he will perform really well and will be among the run makers in the Asia Cup and World Cup as well,” Dickwella further told
Dickwella, who is a wicketkeeper-batter for Sri Lanka with 224 dismissals (185 catches and 39 stumpings), picked Rishabh Pant as the best-attacking wicketkeeper batter in world cricket.
Pant is making big strides in his recuperation following a horrific car accident last December, which required surgery. He is recovering from multiple injuries sustained in the high-speed crash.
“I really like Wriddhiman Saha. His glovework is really amazing. He has the best hands. He has a lot of experience. I really like his glovework and work ethic in Tests. As an aggressive player, I like Rishabh Pant. Rishabh is the best-attacking wicketkeeper batter at the moment. I hope he recovers soon and gets back into the team soon,” Dickwella signed off.

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