By Rafiq A Wani
Srinagar: India-Pakistan is always a pressure game, and Saturday’s encounter won’t be any different. For India, it is almost a must win game and the stage is all set for a high voltage encounter of the World T-20 tournament at Eden Gardens Kolkata.
Former India skipper and legendary left arm spinner Bishen Singh Bedi, while speaking to Kashmir Reader, said a “Match between India and Pakistan is a pressure game and both the teams have to survive the pressure to come through.”
Bedi said “There is no favorite team in a T-20 match, ‘anything and everything’ can happen in T-20 as the complexion of the game changes in just one over and there is no time to recover. You can’t have a favourite team in this format.”
Commenting on India’s defeat at the hands of New Zealand, the legendary off-spinner said “The defeat has put pressure on India as they were performing well; they were winning continuously and a sudden defeat has put pressure on them.”
Sports columnist Waheed Mirza while expressing his views about the epic encounter said “India will come hard at Pakistan and Dhoni’s tactics will obviously make a huge difference. For India to come good they need their top order to flourish and middle order will have to contribute to the winning cause. Indian bowling will be tested in what appear to batting friendly conditions at Eden Gardens.”
“For Pakistan to break the World Cup jinx against their arch-rivals Pakistan, they would need to keep their focus. They looked a team possessed against Bangladesh, almost ticking all the boxes. India will be a different ball game altogether,” Mirza said
“If Pakistan somehow repeat their batting heroics, they will have a big say in the game. The pace battery looks in good shape and return of Afridi to wicket taking ways makes the bowling unit stronger,” he added.
Pakistan will want Afridi-the batsman-to fire like he did against Bangladesh.
Captaincy wise, Dhoni is streets ahead of Afridi, and if Pakistan manages to neutralise the Indian captain they could well open their account against their neighbours in World Cup games.
Former J&K Ranji Trophy skipper and first class cricketer, Samiullah Beigh said, “The epic contest is evenly poised as Pakistan has gained confidence from their last match especially in batting. India, as we all know, is a more balanced team and one of the favourites to win the world cup but their last game has evened out the contest.”
Pakistan has yet to register a win against India in the world cup format.
Australia, New Zealand, and Bangladesh are the other teams in the ‘group of death’