New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir said Pakistan will be under a “lot of pressure” when they meet India in the ICC T20 World Cup encounter on October 24 in Dubai.
The two titans will clash in the opening match of Group 2, which also consists of New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other qualifying teams.
The cricketer-turned-politician said the head-to-head record is in India’s favour.
“I am sure it will add a lot of pressure on Pakistan because India has got 5-0 on Pakistan (World Cups). We should not be talking about whether there will be pressure on India, there is going to be a lot of pressure on Pakistan because the expectations are going to be high in Pakistan as well.
“At the moment if you see, India is far superior to Pakistan. Yes, in a T20 format, anyone can beat anyone. We should not take any team for granted, teams like Afghanistan can create upsets. It’s the same with Pakistan. But there will be pressure on Pakistan,” Gambhir told Star Sports.
Gambhir, meanwhile, pointed out that India and Pakistan will be relieved to get the high-voltage encounter out of their way early in the tournament. Gambhir recalled that India won their first match at a T20 World Cup against Pakistan in 2007 and were able to focus on the rest of the tournament better.
“When we won the 2007 T20 World Cup, our first game was against Scotland which was washed out. Practically, our first game was against Pakistan. That’s exactly what I mentioned. It’s important to play Pakistan in the early stages of the competition. You don’t want to keep thinking about Pakistan. You can finish it off early and then concentrate on the rest of the tournament. It’s going to be the same for the fans and the rest of the country. In fact, I am really happy for both countries that they are going to play against each other early,” he added.
India and Pakistan have not met in a bilateral series since 2013 and their fixtures at the ICC events have become chartbusters. India last played Pakistan at the 50-over World Cup in England in 2019 and comfortably clinched a win, avenging their defeat at the 2017 Champions Trophy final.
The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.