India captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma will have a massive responsibility on their shoulders when India will lock horns against arch-rivals Pakistan in the highly-awaited ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels both Kohli and Rohit will have to guide the youngsters and calms down their nerves before taking on the field against opposition like Pakistan in the quadrennial event later this year.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced the groups for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be hosted by the BCCI in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October 17 to November 14. Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have been placed in Group 2 of the Super 12s. This will see the two teams clash in the group stages of the showpiece event.

“When I played my first international game against Pakistan I was probably much more excited and nervous as compared to some of the guys who have played a lot of cricket against Pakistan. So, it is the responsibility of the senior guys to probably keep the younger guys calm,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show ICC T20 World Cup Special

“Because ultimately it is not the emotion that will win you a game of cricket, it is the contest between the bat and the ball that will end up winning you a game of cricket. So people like Virat Kohli for example, or Rohit Sharma will have a huge responsibility when India take on Pakistan,” he added.

Former India batsman Robin Uthappa highlighted the significance of an India-Pakistan clash during a World Cup. “It just brings out so many emotions, expectations and people always look forward to it. I think, any cricketer who has played in the past or anyone who looks to play for India is always looking forward to an India-Pakistan game,” said Uthappa.

“Because it brings out a lot of emotions – at least for the people who watch the game, more than the people playing it,” he added.

Both Gambhir and Uthappa also spoke on how India should get rid of its “obsession” with 2007 and 2011 World Cup wins.

“It was special (being a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup squad), but I have forgotten about it. To be honest, India need to move on from that. 2007, it’s what, more than 13 years ago and I think we need to get rid of this obsession of 2007 and 2011,” said Gambhir.

“Of course, for me personally, it is a special moment, but I tend to agree with Gautam Gambhir. I think we have achieved that in 20007, so we know that is achievable,” said Uthappa.

Meanwhile, the groups, selected on the basis of team rankings as of March 20, 2021, see defending champions the West Indies pooled along with former champions England, Australia and South Africa in Group 1 of the Super 12s, with two qualifiers from Round 1 joining them.

Group 2 will comprise of former champions India and Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1.

(With Agency Inputs)