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India vs Pakistan ICC World T20 2014: Former captains call for fearless performance from Pakistan

Pakistan have never beaten India in the 50-over nor the T20 World Cup © AFP
Pakistan have never beaten India in the 50-over nor the T20 World Cup © AFP

Karachi: Mar 20, 2014

All excited about the India-Pakistan clash in the World Twenty20 Championships on Friday, former captains and players here have just one piece of advice for Mohammed Hafeez‘s men ahead of the high-pressure match — play fearlessly.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said the key to beating India lies in being brave. “If they go out against India afraid of defeat they will face lot of problems,” cautioned Imran, who led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup crown. Imran said on Geo News channel that Pakistan had a more balanced outfit than India but their approach needed to be right for the big match.

“Any game against India is a pressure game because of the tensions and expectations associated with the match. But I would only advise our players to go out and play fearlessly without any fear of defeat. They must play their natural game and not worry about losing,” Imran said.

Former coach and captain Javed Miandad felt that Pakistan needed to exploit India’s limited bowling resources. “We must try to chase because trying to set a big total given India’s batting depth will only add to the pressure on us,” he said.

He said Indian players always faltered when Pakistani players went on the attack. “Hafeez has to lead from the front with bat and ball. and with Shahid Afridi in good touch these two can play vital roles in helping their team win the match.”

Pakistan’s designated chief selector and former captain Rashid Latif felt Pakistan’s best chance of beating India was to attack them with pace. “We have a formidable pace attack and Umar Gul and Junaid Khan are experienced performers now….we must rely on our pace to unsettle them. I don’t think our spinners will play a lead role against India,” he said.

Former captain Younis Khan, who led Pakistan to the World T20 title in 2009 in England, felt that India would be under greater pressure than Pakistan because of their defeat in the Asia Cup.

“They have not been doing very well in recent times and in contrast Pakistan has done well against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Plus the way they lost the close match in the Asia Cup gives us the psychological advantage for this match. And we must exploit that.

“But at the end of the day, in any Indo-Pak match it is all about keeping your nerves and coping with the expectations of millions of people following the match all over the world,” Younis said.

He said Pakistan had the right combination for the match. “We have plenty of T20 experience and our players just need to play their roles assigned to them. India is under pressure but will always remain a dangerous side because against us even they raise their game,” he noted.

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