Sharjah: Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan feels that whoever is able to remain brave and keeps a calm head will be the winner of the marquee Super Four clash against India in Dubai on Sunday.
After losing to India by five wickets in their opening Group A clash last week on Sunday, Pakistan will return to Dubai International Stadium this Sunday to take on their arch-rivals again. Pakistan managed to grab the final Super Four spot after thrashing Hong Kong by 155 runs at Sharjah on Friday to set up another showdown with India in the tournament.
“Playing against India is always a pressure game. The whole world, even beyond Asia, wait for it. Playing against India feels like a final as people in both countries are eager to watch the game. It helps in keeping things as normal as possible. The pressure will be equally on India and us, but the result will be with whoever remains brave and keeps calm,” said Rizwan after the match against Hong Kong ended.
Rizwan, who was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his unbeaten 78 off 57 balls against Hong Kong and carried his bat throughout the match, insisted that his team is trying to keep things simple ahead of the clash against India in order to reach the final.
“I tell players, whether you play India or Hong Kong, it’s a game of bat and ball. So keep it simple. Yes, it’s a big game and our confidence is high but only hard work is in our hands, as the result is from God. We have to play good cricket and make the final. Our fans demand that we give our best and it is visible this time that the boys are giving it their all.”
In the match against Hong Kong, pacers Naseem Shah and Shahnawaz Dahani were amongst the wickets. Rizwan felt that in absence of premier pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan have got a chance to unearth a new-ball pace combination.
“I’ve talked to the bowlers before. I will be very honest here, no bowler from this group can replace Shaheen or fill in for his loss. This is my honest answer. The way Shaheen has performed in the past 1-2 years, no bowler can come into the side and fill his shoes.”
“But, we can get another Shaheen Shah and this is an opportunity for our other fast bowlers. The way Naseem and Dahani have performed, and Haris is already a part of the side, so we are hopeful to get one or two more Shaheen Shahs with us. We are famous for our solid fast bowlers. So if we get a new combination for the new ball, it will be very good for Pakistan.”