Asia Cup 2022: India vs Pakistan clash is a pressure match: Babar

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said Thursday that all India vs Pakistan clashes create pressure on players as the Men In Green head to the Asia Cup where they will face their arch-rivals.

“We always try to play it like a normal match, but yes, there is definitely different pressure [on us],” the Pakistan skipper told a pre-departure press con-ference as the team head to the Netherlands.

Pakistan will play a three-match one-day inter-national (ODI) series in Amsterdam from August 16-21 and after that they will immediately depart for the ACC T20 Asia Cup.

“There is pressure, but we tried [to keep our-selves calm in the T20 World Cup and] not [repeat the same thing] of coming under pressure,” the Pakistani captain said.

Babar said that players should believe their team as he noted that the squad always gives its fullest on the ground, however, the results were not in their hands.

Babar was referring to the win over the Men In Blue in the T20 World Cup, where he led by example as Pakistan beat India in a World Cup showdown for the first time ever with a 10-wicket romp in a Super 12 blockbuster in October 2021.

Babar and opening partner Mohammad Rizwan then returned to overwhelm the target with 13 balls to spare and register Pakistan’s maiden win against India in a World Cup in their 13th attempt.

In response to a question about possible changes to the squad, the skipper said that the members have been picked keeping the “best” interest of the team in mind.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan, who are placed in Group A, will meet in a high-voltage contest on August 28 (Sunday) in Dubai. In group A, the third team will come from qualifiers.

UAE, Singapore, Kuwait, and Hong Kong will compete to join India and Pakistan in group A. Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are placed in group B.

As per the tournament’s schedule, the top two teams in each group will play again in the super 4 stages.

If India and Pakistan finish on top of group A, they will meet again on September 4 (Sunday).

Four teams will play against each other in the Super 4 stage. The top two teams will then qualify for the final which is scheduled on September 11 (Sunday).

Being in top-notch form in T20Is recently, Paki-stan and India are also hot favourites to play the final match of the tournament.

Squad

Pakistan squad for ACC T20 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Qadir.

Schedule

Group A – India, Pakistan and Qualifier (one of UAE, Kuwait and Hong Kong to qualify)

Group B – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka

Aug 28 – Pakistan v India, Dubai

Sep 2 – Pakistan v Qualifier, Sharjah

Sep 3-9 – Super Four Stage Sep 11 – Final, Dubai.

 

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