Babar Azam warns Pakistan T20 World Cup 'won't get easier just because we beat India'

Babar was one of the shining lights as Pakistan ended a streak of 12 straight defeats to neighbours India, triggering wild celebrations at the Dubai International Stadium

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is refusing to get too carried away after leading his side to a thumping 10-wicket win victory over arch-rivals India and urged his teammates to stay focused on the task ahead at the Twenty20 World Cup.

Babar was one of the shining lights as Pakistan ended a streak of 12 straight defeats to neighbours India, triggering wild celebrations at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

An estimated worldwide audience totalling hundreds of millions watched the Pakistan captain combine with opening partner Mohammad Rizwan to chase down a target of 151-7 with 13 balls to spare for a historic victory.

"We prepared well, and just kept the history out of our mind," Babar said. "We applied our plans and got the results. We, the openers, kept it simple and built a partnership and because the wicket was getting better so we just wanted to keep batting till the end."

The 2009 champions face New Zealand in their next Group II assignment on Tuesday and Babar warned his teammates against dropping their intensity.

"It won't get easier just because we beat India," said Babar, who stroked an elegant and unbeaten 68 of 52 balls while Rizwan contributed 79 not out from 55 deliveries to post the highest first-wicket partnership at a men's T20 World Cup.

"We will take the confidence, but we're taking it one match at a time, and there's a long way to go in the tournament."

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Shaheen Afridi took man-of-the-match honours for his 3-31, which included the prize wicket of India captain Virat Kohli, who topscored for his side with a classy 57.

Afridi rattled India early with the new ball, dismissing openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his successive overs to deny them a strong start.

"It was a historic moment for all of us," Afridi told reporters.

"This was the first time I bowled three overs on the trot in powerplay. I got some swing in the first two overs and my effort was to earn quick breakthroughs for my side which, fortunately, I was able to achieve.

"Bowling yorker with the new ball has been my strength and I tried the same against Rohit. It luckily worked.

"Batting against the new ball was tough, so credit goes to Babar and Rizwan for the way they played."

Kohli indicated the evening dew on a hot and sticky Sunday evening might have benefited Pakistan in their successful chase, but India’s talismanic captain acknowledged his side were second best throughout.

He said: “They definitely outplayed us. There is no doubt about that. You don’t win by 10 wickets if you don’t outplay the opposition. We did not even get any chances.

“They were very professional. You definitely have to give them credit. We tried our best. We tried to create enough pressure on them, but they had the answers, and there is no shame in accepting that a team played better than you.

“You don’t go out there to take anything lightly, especially a team like Pakistan who on their day can beat anyone in the world. This is a game that has to be respected, and we are a team that definitely respects the game.

“We do not think that [losing] one game is the end of the world, and no other team should think that. On the day if we haven’t played good, we accept it and we give credit to the opposition, as well.”

Updated: November 1st 2021, 9:00 AM
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