India-Pak match will be like pressure cooker, remain cool to win:Bhajji



  New Delhi:  Asserting that India has the edge in their Champions Trophy game against Pakistan, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Saturday that the team which handles pressure better will emerge triumphant.
India and Pakistan will start their campaign in the Champions Trophy with a much anticipated Group B clash in Birmingham on Sunday.
Although Harbhajan felt that Indian players are under more pressure while playing Australia or South Africa, a match against Pakistan is still a special occasion.

"At the international level, there is pressure before any game. I would say that there is now more pressure when we face South Africa and Australia or even England for that matter. These teams worry us more than Pakistan. There is always pressure. If there is no pressure, you will be over-confident.

"Having said that, an India-Pakistan game does get treated differently," Harbhajan wrote in his column on the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"At the end of the day, an India-Pakistan game has got more to do with pressure than anything else. The team that handles the 'P-factor' better on the day is more likely to win.

"Simply put, the team that doesn't crack under pressure on the field will come out on top. I'm confident that India will win on Sunday because it has a far superior line-up," he added.

Pointing out that the current Pakistan squad is not as awe inspiring as the earlier cricketers, Harbhajan asserted that the Indian players are better at coping with pressure.

"Over the years, India has learnt how to deal with pressure. And this isn't just against Pakistan. In any case, the Pakistani team of the day is no match for its teams of the past. There was a time when Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf used to play in the same team!

"I haven't seen too many youngsters capable of handling pressure in the current Pakistani set-up," the 36-year-old said.
 
"That said, I quite like Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper-batsman. Also, their batting isn't anywhere close to what South Africa (AB de Villiers and Faf Du Plessis) and India (MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma) can boast of."

The off-spinner however, warned that the Indian players should be wary of a couple of senior batsmen in the Pakistan line-up apart from fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

"When it comes to the 'danger-man' in their squad, I think Shoaib Malik is one player who plays spin really well. Once he gets used to the conditions, he can take on any bowler, be it a spinner or a fast bowler," he said.

"The other player to watch out for is skipper Sarfraz because he is very intelligent. In the bowling department, Pakistan has Mohammad Amir. India needs to play him carefully, especially when he's armed with the new ball."

Harbhajan, who had been a part of quite a few battles with Pakistan in the past, opined that the victory over the arch-rivals in the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup was the most memorable encounter for him.

India had defeated Pakistan by 29 runs in Mohali before gong on to beat Sri Lanka in the final.

"I remember the India-Pakistan semi-final in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. I didn't sleep the night before the match because I was constantly thinking about what people would say and how they would react if we were to lose," Harbhajan recalled.

"I remember telling a few people to keep vigil outside my home so that the crowd doesn't break anything should things not go our way. One does think about such things too. The Prime Ministers of both countries were coming to watch the game. There were a lot of celebrities and top personalities in the stadium just to watch the two teams clash. But once you step on to the field, you forget who is watching you. All you want is to win the game.

"People expect a lot more from you when you play Pakistan. It seems like we're going to war with them. This certainly gets to the players," he added.

"That said, I couldn't sleep after the game either as I was too happy celebrating! All of this happens when you face Pakistan."

IANS


Related news

Don’t Miss

Nakuul has been my biggest support: Surbhi Chandna
Had no administrative authority in 'Queen' remake: Tamannaah
Simply Gorgeous! Suhana Khan reminds you of Gauri Khan as a teenager!
Sunny Leone's plunging neckline pic is setting internet on fire!
Ranveer, Alia get lost in 'Gully'
Deepika Padukone joins traffic police for this reason
Uddhav's BMC bows before Amitabh Bachchan
No helmet, no puja!
Why son-in-law Rahul Yadav gave 1 crore to Rabri Devi, ED asks him
Sidharth Malhotra turns 33, celebs wish him best of everything
Shibani's new single "wannabe Free"
SC asks Maharashtra government to share Judge Loya documents with petitioners seeking probe
Modi to launch work commencement of Rajasthan refinery
Comeback of Puru Chibber as a Rajput
Bumper job offer for 10th pass; good salary, apply now
5 unknown facts about Aiyaary actor Sidharth Malhotra
Diesel price at a record high, petrol price 3-year high
PM Netanyahu visits monument of love Taj Mahal with wife; Yogi welcomes
Leaving Fifth Harmony helped me "come alive": Camila Cabello
Nirmala Sitharaman to go on sortie in Sukhoi 30MKI
No, the crisis in SC is not resolved yet, admits Attorney General
Apple in BIG trouble, asked to explain slow-down of batteries in iPhone
Modi to inaugurate project commencement of Barmer refinery
Shocking: These parents tortured, chained starving children to their beds
Pravin Togadia after mysterious disappearance, found unconscious in a park
Citizen's forum demands independent probe into judge Loya's death
Fear of Modi..10000000 black money transactions caught
Boyfriend's friend MURDERED anchor Arpita in Mumbai?
Top CEO attends DIRTY party, caught
Rahul= Lord Rama, Modi+ Ravana..Cong posters welcome Rahul in UP

Most Recent







Most Popular