Arch-rivals India and Pakistan were on Friday placed in the same group for the T20 World Cup as the International Cricket Council announced the pools for its flagship event, set to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
A clash between India and Pakistan is always a high-intensity game and the men in blue have a stellar record in the global men’s events.
India and Pakistan are placed in Group 2 along with World Test Championship winners New Zealand and Afghanistan.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who has been part of many India-Pakistan games in his career, said senior players such as skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will play a big role in the marquee clash.
“When I played my first international game against Pakistan I was probably much more excited and nervous as compared to some of the guys who’ve played a lot of cricket against Pakistan,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show ICC T20 World Cup Special.
“So, it is the responsibility of the senior guys to probably keep the younger guys calm; because ultimately it’s not the emotion that will win you a game of cricket, it is the contest between the bat and the ball that will end up winning you a game of cricket.”
“So people like Virat Kohli for example, or Rohit Sharma will have a huge responsibility when Indian takes on Pakistan.”
Robin Uthappa, who famously bowled in the bowl-out of the group stage match against Pakistan in the inaugural edition, spoke about the emotions of the India-Pakistan clash.
“It just brings out so many emotions, expectations and people always look forward to it,” Uthappa told Star Sports.
“I think, any cricketer who has played in the past or anyone who looks to play for India is always looking forward to an India-Pakistan game. Because it brings out a lot of emotions – at least for the people who watch the game, more than the people playing it.”
Gambhir said India should get rid of its obsession with wins at the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. India have not won the World Cup in the shortest format since the first edition where MS Dhoni and Co defeated Pakistan in the final.
“It was special (being a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup squad), but I have forgotten about it,” said the Delhi batsman, who also scored an innings-topping 97 against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final.
“To be honest, India needs to move on from that. 2007, it’s what, more than 13 years ago and I think we need to get rid of this obsession of 2007 and 2011.”
Uthappa, who was also part of the squad of the champion team in 2007, concurred.
“Of course, for me personally, it’s a special moment, but I tend to agree with Gautam Gambhir. I think we have achieved that in 2007, so we know that is achievable,” he added.
The Groups of Super 12s have been selected on the basis of team rankings as of March 20, according to the International Cricket Council. Two teams will join each of the groups from the qualifying rounds.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in India but was moved out of the country due to an expected third wave of the coronavirus.
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