India vs Pakistan, the biggest clash in cricket, is just around the corner as Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are set to lead their respective teams out at the Dubai International Stadium for their first match of the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup. Both the captains addressed the media on Saturday and spoke highly of the opposing team. India have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup encounter, be the the ODI World Cup or the T20 World Cup, and that record will once again be on the line.
Popular perception, history and recent records put India as the favourites to win this clash but it is never that clear cut when these two arch rivals meet. Virat Kohli knows that well as he tasted defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Former Pakistan captain and a veteran of several India vs Pakistan matches, Wasim Akram, is also of the view that team strengths and weaknesses won’t matter and it will be more about which team handles pressure better. Akram took to social media platform Koo to give his opinion.
“It is a battle of the mind, nerves and a lot more when Pakistan and India play each other in a World Cup. Whoever handles the pressure and makes lesser mistakes will do well. Team strengths and weaknesses go out of the window when these two sides clash, pressure is the keyword #T20WorldCup,” Akram wrote.
India beat Pakistan twice, including the final, in the inaugural T20 World Cup to win the title, which marked the beginning of a highly successful reign for MS Dhoni as captain of the Indian team. Dhoni has retired from international cricket, but he is in the India camp for this tournament as mentor.
Pakistan would not be left behind as they won the T20 World Cup in 2009, but the two teams didn’t meet in the tournament. India would go on to beat the Pakistanis in the 2012, 2014 an 2016 editions to take 5-0 lead over the arch rivals in the showpiece event.
Babar Azam and his team will be keen to get one back and get the monkey off their back once and for all.
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