The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is considered the “mother of all battles,” and fans eagerly await every encounter between these arch-rivals. While Pakistan has historically held an advantage over India in head-to-head stats, they are yet to defeat India in an ODI World Cup fixture.
However, legendary seamer Waqar Younis believes the Pakistan team has what it takes to break this jinx and start as favorites in the 2023 World Cup clash against India. He credits the current players’ ability to handle pressure better than their predecessors, making them formidable in the high-stakes encounter.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Waqar Younis emphasized that handling pressure is crucial, especially in an India-Pakistan match where the intensity and expectations are multiplied. He acknowledged that during his playing days, the pressure on the team was relatively less due to the frequency of cricket matches. However, the team tended to falter under pressure when it came to World Cup games against India. He believes the current players can handle such situations better, making them potential match-winners.
“Whenever you’ll play them, especially if it is Pakistan and India, the pressure would be immense and tripled. Pressure is always high, but maybe in our times, it was comparatively lesser because we used to play lots of cricket in my early days. But then again, in World Cup, we used to choke against India. Nonetheless, as I said, players these days are handling the pressure better. As I mentioned earlier, these match-winners will win us the game,” Younis said, as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Waqar Younis singled out players like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan as potential threats to India in the much-awaited World Cup face-off. These players have consistently performed well and have shown the temperament to excel under high-pressure situations. With their skills and form, they could be instrumental in turning the tide in favor of Pakistan in the crucial encounter.
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The India-Pakistan encounter was initially scheduled for October 15 in the 2023 World Cup. However, there are talks of preponing the match, and the ICC and BCCI are likely to announce a revised schedule for the tournament soon. Both teams will be gearing up for the showdown, knowing its immense significance and excitement for cricket fans worldwide.