They haven't played T20 cricket as a group: Babar Azam feels Virat Kohli-led India will be under pressure ahead of marquee clash at WC

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Sep 03, 2021, 08:34 AM IST


Story highlights

Ahead of the marquee clash between India and Pakistan at the T20 World Cup, Babar Azam feels the pressure will be on Virat Kohli & Co.

India and Pakistan are set to lock horns in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, to be held in the UAE after IPL 2021. Both the senior men's cricket team haven't faced each other since the 2019 ODI World Cup group stage encounter and, thus, it is expected to be a mouth-watering clash, on October 24 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

Ahead of the marquee clash, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam feels Virat Kohli-led India will be under more pressure.  Speaking ahead of encounter between the two bitter rivals, Azam said that his side would like to start Pakistan's campaign by ending its losing streak against the Men in Blue in World Cup. "India will be under more pressure, as compared to Pakistan, during the T20 World Cup match as they have not played T20 cricket as a group for quite a while. India are currently playing Test cricket and after that, they will get busy with franchise cricket. The UAE is like our home ground and we will try to give our 100 percent on the field," Azam was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

"He shared his mindset with us and we would carry that forward. We have picked a balanced squad for New Zealand ODIs. We are facing issues in the middle-order and this series is a good opportunity for players making a comeback to cement their place in the side. There is no pressure of captaincy on me," Azam added. 

To back Babar's claims, Kohli-led India's main squad hasn't played together in T20Is since their England home series in early 2021. India had played three T20Is in Sri Lanka in July but it comprised several uncapped Indian players, led by Shikhar Dhawan. While all the Indian players will be seen in IPL 2021's second and final leg, ahead of the T20 WC, it won't be easy for them to regroup and start well in the showpiece event.

Nonetheless, India will remain confident ahead of facing an opposition they've always managed to beat in World Cups (ODIs and T20Is). India lead Pakistan 7-0 in ODI World Cup whereas are 5-0 ahead in terms of head-to-head battle in the T20 WC.