The former Indian captain Kapil Dev has warned against Pakistan’s strength calling it a dangerous side when it comes to T20 cricket who can beat any team in the world on a given day, as millions across the globe wait anxiously to watch the high-octane India-Pakistan clash today.
Speaking to a News channel, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain said that he didn’t know much about team Pakistan but knew enough to say that ‘such things’ like the dominance of one team over the other did not matter.
Dev said that it was all about nerves and handling the pressure at the right moment in India-Pakistan clashes.
Dev said, “On the field, such things [which team will dominate] don’t matter. Both teams will be under pressure, thus it will be interesting to see who will handle the pressure well.”
He said, “Although I don’t know much about them, still I would say that Pakistan is a dangerous team in T20, they can defeat anyone on a given day.”
Dev acknowledged that India was a strong side on paper. However, he added that it all depends on whether or not Kohli’s side will be able to match the rhythm on the field or not.
India and Pakistan have not played each other in over two years. The two South Asian heavyweights last clashed with each other in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, when India came out on top.
Kapil Dev said there will be the “uncertainty” element between the two sides when they meet today.
He said, “Both teams have not played against each other, so surely the uncertainty would be there. The Indian team looks stronger, but Pakistan has a lot of unexpected players. Although I feel India should not be worried about it.”
“The only thing is to perform well under pressure. Pakistan can win this match also if the Indian team is unable to handle the pressure.”
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli will meet each other in the most-anticipated rivalry of sports’ world in Dubai for the World Cup clash.
The nuclear-armed neighbours have gone to war three times since gaining independence from British colonial rule in the mid-20th century and remain at odds with each other over Kashmir.
India last hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series in 2013 and the teams now meet only in global tournaments, the last being the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.
Pressure on players
The former Indian player Suresh Raina wrote, “I was involved in the games in 2014 and 2016. If you ask me, as a player, it was always a high-pressure game. In the build-up, everyone is just telling you how big it is.”
He added, “The fans have enjoyed this rivalry over the years and it is cricket at its best.”
The 17,500 tickets for the game were sold out hours after being put on sale and television channels in both countries are running special shows on the match.