With India and Pakistan all set to take on each other in the much awaited match today at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here, fans of the Men in Blue in Delhi and Punjab can not wait for the battle to start and watch their team crush the arch-rivals.
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes that India have the "strength as well as the psychological advantage" against Pakistan owing to their recent performance against the Men in Green as the two arch-rivals prepare to renew the greatest cricketing rivalry in the much-awaited high-octane Champions Trophy encounter on Sunday at Edgbaston in Birmingham. I am under no pressure and I don't look at a situation where I put myself under pressure. "If we win from here then our rankings will go up, it is a possibility that their ranking might go down if we win".
The "Batsman" Virat knows more than a thing or two about how to win matches against Pakistan but for "skipper" Virat, the tournament as a whole would test his maturity. "It's completely calm. It's fantastic". It's wonderful. It's the outside noise that there is.
Meanwhile, coach Mickey Arthur admitted that it would be a big pressure game for sure but his team is prepared and the environment in the dressing room is unbelievably calm. "We may play two spinners and two seamers with Hardik or we might choose to go with him and three seamers", he added.
"Today, we were short, we were sharp. You will see this team playing differently". Instead, they should just enjoy the game and play like they normally do. They square off tomorrow against a fairly inexperienced and unpredictable Pakistan side led by newly appointed captain Sarfraz Ahmed.More news: Helped by key double-fault, Murray tops del Potro in Paris
Arguably India will rely heavily on their strong top-order and will also be confident with their powerful finishers down the order.
"The team that's going to win this competition is the team that can strike". Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a riveting IPL season where he took 26 wickets and received the Purple Cap. We've got the swing and hustle and in swing of Hassan.
"We've got a left-arm spinner [Imad Wasim]". Azhar Ali was removed from captaincy and Sarfraz Ahmed was handed the role and more emphasis was given on fitness which saw the withdrawal of Umar Akmal from the squad. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Pakistan in the 1990s were the side to beat but since the early 2000s the tide has changed and India have been giving a fight.
"We have always shared a healthy equation with them off the field. We've got to attack them and we've got to look to bowl them out".More news: West Indies rout Afghans in T20 series
"There have been a lot of speculations and things being written by people without actually being part of the change room, which is odd", he told reporters on Saturday. "There are no problems whatsoever". He said that there were no issues last time. It's the same process.
"It's just happening after 12 months".
However, he did not give any importance to the added responsibility as a captain in the Champions Trophy and said: "It hasn't changed anything as a captain.I played with responsibility even when I was not the captain. I've told the boys to not pay attention to what people are saying or writing, but to focus on their cricket".
"They (journalists) are doing their job, they're trying to create some nice livelihood and all we can say is we're focused on our livelihood, which is on the field. And as cricketers we just focus on the Champions Trophy".More news: Scottish First Minister Extends Condolences Following Terror Incidents in London
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