An India-Pakistan contest is often termed as the mother of all battles. The two arch-rivals does not play bilateral series and only clash in ICC events and Asia Cup. Naturally, the hype around the match is like no other game, with the fans getting involved.
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, however, has played down the enthralling affair and said the hype around the match is created on social media but the players are least concerned about the same, adding that Pakistan players will see the match against India like any other game of the tournament. The two Asian giants will kick off their T20 World Cup campaign in Dubai on October 24.
“This India-Pakistan match, we will consider it like any other game. The hype is being created by the social media and fans which is fine but in our hearts and minds, we will consider this game the same as one against any other side. Because, if we as players take on the additional pressure of this game, then that won’t be good as it has happened before,” said Rizwan in a virtual press conference on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan made few changes to their T20 World Cup squad and added Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed to the team, while leaving out Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain and Azam Khan. Speaking about the changes in the team with World Cup just days away, Rizwan said it won’t have any negative effect on the mindset of the team.
“This always happens to us ever since the time we started playing cricket. Because sometimes you can have injuries in the squad or other issues and especially since Covid-19 has happened, we are always ready for this sort of situation. So there is no mental effect of this,” he said.
“We have only come together since yesterday and the National T20 Cup has been like a gift for us as it has provided us with a great way to practice but our real preparation will start tomorrow, as this is when we will gel as a team and whatever has happened before will have no effect. Before that we weren’t together as a team so if some change had been made after that, that could have affected us but this is not the case,” he added.
Over the years, Pakistan have used UAE as their home venue and players are well used to the conditions. While many feel the conditions will be an advantage to Pakistan, Rizwan thinks otherwise. The prolific wicketkeeper-batter said, “I have never been a believer in the fact that any one side, including Pakistan, has any special advantage in UAE or anywhere else. All we can say is that the tournament is being held in Asia as I consider UAE to be in Asia. Yes, we have been playing there for a while and we used to say that UAE is our home ground but I never accepted that because the pitches there, from what I understood, were made with soil from Australia or from other parts of the world. So, even if UAE was called our home ground, that was not the case.”