NEW DELHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam admitted that his side needs to keep improving if it wants to become a powerhouse in One Day International cricket.
The in-form Pakistan side cruised a 3-0 series sweep at home over West Indies last week and have lost just one 50-over match this calendar year as they attempt to continue their good recent run in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League.
But Babar believes his side still has plenty of work to do if they want to ensure automatic qualification for next year's tournament and claim a second 50-over World Cup title in India.
"We still need to improve in certain areas," Babar said following the series victory that helped Pakistan rise past India and into fourth place on the latest Men's ODI Team Rankings.
"We still lose wickets in clusters in the middle which puts us on the back foot. Here the players need better concentration; it's an area to work on. The fielding has improved, but our body language still deteriorates when a good partnership develops, and it's another thing we can try and improve, " added Babar Azam Pakistan's recent upsurge is much to do with Babar's own form with the bat, with the No.1 ranked ODI batter in the world recently becoming just the second player to score three consecutive one-day centuries on two separate occasions.
But Babar knows he requires contributions from the entire side for Pakistan to thrive and the right-hander was buoyed by some of the performances of his teammates during the series against West Indies. Opener Imam-ul-Haq hit three consecutive half-centuries and was deservedly awarded Player of the Series, while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz took seven scalps apiece to be the joint leading wicket-taker.
"Bench strength always gives you a lift. Knowing you have players on the bench who are ready to use is good to know. We had Iftikhar (Ahmed), Abdullah Shafique and (Shahnawaz) Dahani on the bench. We tried a different bowling combination and they performed very well. It's very satisfying as a captain to see that, " noted Babar Azam.
Babar was also impressed with the powerful hitting of Khushdil Shah as the 27-year-old continues to make a name for himself in the final overs of an innings.