Sun, 28 Nov 2021

New Delhi [India], October 24 (ANI): Ahead of the Indian Cricket Team's clash with Pakistan to kick off their ICC T20 World Cup Campaign, cricket coach MP Singh on Sunday said that focus should not be on records of past India versus Pakistan games as a match in T20 match can tilt in anyone's favour after a good or bad performance in an over or two.

"The focus should not be on records of our past games. T20 Cricket is a format where a good or bad performance in an over or two can tilt things in anyone's favour," he told ANI.

Singh also was optimistic about the impact of former Indian Captain and current team mentor Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the team and his partnership with the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

"With the arrival of MS Dhoni as a mentor, I feel that Team India will get the strength of a double engine. Dhoni has given a lot of attention to wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. He has also paid attention to the medium pacers and middle-order batsmen. He was the team's captain for so long. The combination of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni is going to lead to some very positive things," he said.

While talking about the squad, Singh termed top-six batsmen in the batting order, including KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as 'extraordinary'.

"Yesterday, Kohli had said that Pandya will play too. Pandya is a player that can hit some big shots and that is what T20 cricket is all about. It's about fours and sixes, nobody likes to play a dot ball. New players like Shardul Thakur, Rahul Chahar need to be polished. They are good players and have performed well in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In my opinion, these youngsters too will perform well," he added.

Singh pointed out that the Indian team looks way better than Pakistan given the latter's lack of exposure to IPL and lack of recent exposure to International Cricket due to cancellations of bilateral series held in Pakistan versus England and New Zealand.

Talking about India's bench strength, he said, "I think we are perfect in all departments. No other team has a bench strength like ours. For instance, for every batsman that leaves, we have two more good batsmen to fill up his place. For every spinner that leaves, we have two more who can do the job. This is apparent how new spinners are being given a chance over someone like Yuzevendra Chahal. I am hoping that we win."Commenting on pressure on Captain Virat Kohli to deliver good performances, Singh said that he does not think that Virat feels a lot of pressure.

"After playing so much cricket, one enters the field only as a player. All of this pressure, stress only happens till a certain level. Also, without pressure, you cannot give your hundred per cent in a game. One should definitely feel some pressure, take it in a positive way and results will be his favour," he added.

Commenting on pressure on Pakistan and playing the match during times of tense relations between both nations, he said, "I think that there should not be so much pressure on Pakistan. But the thinking of our players can change while playing with a country which is not friendly with us. Whereas it does not happen with players. But the thinking of their military and politicians is not good for our country. It would not get any support from anyone, including the players."Excitement among the cricketing world is at an all-time high as arch-rivals India and Pakistan gear up for the clash in their opening game of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Sunday.Both teams will open their campaigns in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup with what is billed to be a mouth-watering clash. After almost over two years, Virat Kohli and Co. will face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan and rekindle the age-old rivalry.

Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over India in World Cups as the head-to-head has been completely dominated by the Men in Blue. India and Pakistan have faced off a total of 17 times at ICC events, out of which India has won 14.

Both nations have played eight T20s against each other out of which India has won seven. India has also won all five matches that it has played against Pakistan across all editions of the ICC T20 World Cup. (ANI)

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