Despite the fact that India and Pakistan don’t play any bilateral series any longer, with their rivalry restricted to just multi-nation events like ICC tournaments or Asia Cup, the Men in Blue still lead the head-to-head to tie across formats and events. But PCB chairman, Ramiz Raja reckons that the recent head-to-head tie has resulted in India taking the present Pakistan side more seriously as a team and hence wants critics to credit the Babar Azam-led side for having the edge over a “billion-dollar team”.
Until last October, India was undefeated against Pakistan in World Cup meetings, winning all 12 games – seven in ODIs and five in T20Is. However, in the three times, the two sides have faced each other in the last 12 months, Pakistan has won twice – once in 2021 T20 World Cup opener and other in the 2022 Asia Cup.
Speaking to Dawn with just a fortnight away from the blockbuster 2022 T20 World Cup tie in Melbourne, Ramiz opined that an India-Pakistan match is more a mental battle than a physical one. He said, “Skill aur talent se zyada mental match hota hain yeh. So agar aap temperamentally strong he and mentally focussed he aur haar manne ko taiyar nahi hain toh chhoti team bhi badi team ko hara sakti hain.”
He further added, “And Pakistan humesha se underdogs rahein hain jab bhi India se muqabla huye hain, but of late, unhone hume respect dena shuru kardiya hain kyunki unke khayal me yeh hain ki Pakistan hume kabhi hara hi nehi sakte. So yehi main kehta hu ki Pakistan ko credit dijiye kyunki ek billion-dollar team cricket industry ko hum harate he. Main toh khud World Cups khela hu, humlog toh India ko nehi hara paate the.”
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India will be locking horns with Pakistan on October 23 in their 2022 T20 World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.