Ahead of the much-awaited India vs Pakistan clash, former India cricketer Suresh Raina expressed his views while speaking to ICC. He said,

India against Pakistan is a game like no other, and once more, the eyes of the world will be centered around what is sure to be another thrilling encounter between these two rivals. The challenge for India will be handling the pressure. When we play against Pakistan, we know how big the occasion is, lots of celebrities turn up and they will be playing in front of 120,000 people in Ahmedabad. It’s always an amazing spectacle and this will be no different. 

Both teams have won two from two so they come into the match with a lot of confidence. It sets the game up perfectly. India need to play as normally as they can. They know how to cope with the pressure, we have played Pakistan in 50-over World Cups seven times and have never lost.  

The good thing for India is that Virat Kohli loves the big occasion. Whenever Pakistan come, he wants to be the hero, he wants to be the man of the moment. It’s why we call him the King of the Chase.  

He thrives in this arena because there is a lot of pressure on him. He says it’s just another game but he prepares himself very differently. He listens to a lot of Punjabi music, he loves to mingle around with the boys. And when the match starts, he switches on like a pro fighter.

From an Indian perspective, it has been great to see Jasprit Bumrah playing really well. He is bowling with pace and is swinging it with the new ball. But the best thing about him is that he is finishing ten overs. We’ve seen that in the Asia Cup and we’ve seen that against Australia. He’s enjoying his run-up. He’s a local boy, he’s from Ahmedabad so he will also enjoy the pressure. 

Of course, we shouldn’t forget that Pakistan have their own very good fast bowling line-up. Shaheen Shah Afridi is looking good and he will swing the ball up front. The openers have to bat really carefully against him.

Against Afghanistan, Rohit Sharma scored his seventh century at a World Cup, which is a new record, so we know he is in form. Alongside him, Ishan Kishan got some important runs as well. The key to the game may be India’s openers facing up against Pakistan’s opening bowling partnership. 

One area I think India have an advantage is in the spin department. We saw in the Asia Cup that Pakistan struggled to deal with them, and between Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, along with maybe R Ashwin, India possess a lot of threats. 

Pakistan have struggled a bit at the top of the order, especially Imam-ul-Haq, although Abdullah Shafique is playing well. Realistically, they need a big performance from Babar Azam if they are to get a win.  

We have seen in past World Cup matches that they can struggle when the pressure is on in these games. So India need to make sure that when they are on top, they press home their advantage. They must not let Pakistan fight back into the game. 

The other key is playing the situation of the match. I remember in 2011 in the semi-finals, I came in with the score at 187 for five and had to bat with the tail. That day, I knew that I could not focus on all the expectations and just had to play what was in front of us. 

Four years later, I came and joined Virat in the middle, and were able to bat together for 15 overs and put on 100. That is important in this match, put on those partnerships of 10 to 15 overs and you can put all the pressure on Pakistan. 

I think India have a better chance to win because we have proven we can handle those tense moments, but, with the world watching, there will be a lot of pressure.

Also read: India vs Pakistan live updates

#King #Chase #Virat #Kohli #loves #big #occasions #Pakistan #hero #Suresh #Raina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *