No, they are not short on talent but somehow they crumble under pressure. We are talking about Pakistan, one of the most inconsistent teams. They can beat the best on their day and lose against a second-string team. Same has been the case on England tour where the Babar Azam-led side has lost the ODI series after succumbing to defeats in their first two games against an inexperienced England unit, who are missing the services of their key players.
Pakistan speedster Junaid Khan feels that players need to play against India to learn how to handle pressure. An India-Pakistan match is not just a game but a test of skills and nerves. The two teams have delivered some riveting games in the past but due to the current political scenarios between the two neighbours, they only clash in ICC events. Junaid Khan, however, feels that a bilateral series between India and Pakistan looks unlikely at the moment.
“If you want to be groomed on handling pressure, play against India. The pressure is so much on both teams, the atmosphere is awesome. I do think there has to be cricket played between the two nations regularly. But looking at the circumstances, I don’t think it is going to happen anytime soon,” Cricket Pakistan quoted Junaid Khan.
The last time Pakistan faced India in a bilateral series was in 2012-13 when Pakistan visited India for a short limited overs tour. The visitors won the first two ODIs before India bounced back to pick a consolation win. Junaid Khan was one of the finds of the tour and played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s win. The left-arm seamer made Virat Kohli his bunny and accounted for his wicket in all three games.
Khan further said the tour to India made him more mature as a cricketer, adding that he was able to handle pressure better after the tour. Junaid Khan reckons that regular cricket between the two countries will benefit the players and spectators who are keen to watch the two teams play.
“When I toured India in 2012-13, I learnt a lot. I understand how to handle pressure. So if India and Pakistan play matches against each other, people from both countries will be equally happy,” Junaid Khan signed off.
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