ENG vs PAK: "We are very excited..." - Babar Azam denies 'fear' as Jofra Archer set to make comeback in Leeds

Updated - 22 May 2024, 04:28 PM

Jofra Archer and Babar Azam
Jofra Archer and Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said that his team is looking forward to the challenge of facing Jofra Archer, and they do not fear the England pacer. The Pakistan National Cricket Team is currently in England to play a four-match T20I series against Jos Buttler and his team.

Archer is set to make his first international appearance in England in nearly four years, as skipper Buttler confirmed that the fiery speedster will make a comeback in the first T20I against Pakistan in Leeds on Wednesday, May 22.

Archer's career has been significantly hampered by back and elbow injuries, as he could only play seven matches for the England cricket team over the last three years. However, despite his injury setbacks, Archer has been gradually making his return to competitive cricket.

Babar Azam welcomes Jofra Archer challenge in England

Jofra Archer was also included in England's provisional 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, which is set to be co-hosted by the USA and Caribbean on June 1. While preparing for his much-anticipated return, Archer bowled with impressive pace in the nets on Monday, including a session with England's white-ball captain, Jos Buttler.

However, Archer, who is known for his fearsome face and dreadful yorkers, had a lighter training session on Tuesday to make sure he was ready for the four-match T20I series opener against Pakistan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Babar expressed his team's excitement about facing Archer in the T20I series, saying the Men in Green are well-prepared for the challenge.

The Pakistan skipper has further emphasized that they are familiar with handling high-speed deliveries in their daily practice sessions, having a quality pace attack in their line-up comprising Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, and Shaheen Afridi.

“We're not afraid, we're excited”: Babar Azam on facing Jofra Archer

According to Babar, the Pakistan team is not feeling fear at all about facing Archer but rather enthusiastic about the opportunity to compete against the pacer in the T20I series against England ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and Caribbean.

Babar Azam was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo: “As a team, we are very excited to play Archer. We have that pace of bowlers: Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi. We are facing it every day. We are not feeling fear; we are excited.”

Squads For England vs Pakistan T20I Series:

England: Jos Buttler (wk/c), Philip Salt, Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Mark Wood, Ben Duckett, Liam Livingstone, Tom Hartley

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Abrar Ahmed, Abbas Afridi, Irfan Khan, Usman Khan, Agha Salman

Schedule For England vs Pakistan T20I Series:

First T20I - May 22 at Headingley, Leeds

Second T20I - May 25 at Edgbaston, Birmingham

Third T20I - May 28 at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Fourth T20I - May 30 at Kennington Oval, London


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