Sounding the war bugle ahead of their high-voltage clash with India at the Eden Gardens here, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Friday said India are under tremendous pressure and exuded confidence about Pakistan rewriting their record of not beating their arch-rivals in a World Cup contest.
India are in danger of getting knocked out of the World Twenty 20 afer being beaten in their first match by New Zealand in Nagpur.
“History can be changed, and we are confident of that this time. India have a chance of being knocked out of the tournament, so they are under lot of pressure and it surely is a plus point for us,” said Waqar.
“We won the last match against Bangladesh, a lot of positives are in our side. Yes, our history in terms of playing against India in World Cups hasn’t been great, but we are confident of changing that this time,” he said about Pakistan being beaten every time they played against India in the One-Day and T20 World Cups.
India enjoy a 10-0 record against Pakistan in all World Cup matches.
While Pakistan scripted a comprehensive victory in their first match against Bangladesh in sharp contrast to India who were humbled by New Zealand, Waqar said the pressure was more on the Indians to stay afloat in the tournament.
“Having lost their last game, India are worried of getting knocked out of the tournament. It’s a huge worry for them, and they are feeling the heat. For us, we won the last match and the monkey is off our backs.”
“Usually the pressure is on us, but this time, India are under more pressure. It’s a big match, playing against Pakistan, Indians are surely feeling the pressure,” said the former pacer.
While India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dubbed the rivalry of the two teams bigger than the Ashes and was more of a rivalry of the borders, Waqar said the rivalry was more about sports.
“Indeed there is rivalry between India and Pakistan but we should take it more as a sporting rivalry. Both the countries have history not only culturally but sporting as well. The way both the countries have played in the last 50 years, I think it’s a treat for the entire world and not just the subcontinent.”
“I don’t think any other game is watched as much as an India-Pakistan match and I think we all should cherish that and feel proud of it,” he said.
Waqar also added that Saturday’s match would be a contest between the Pakistan pacers and the Indian batsmen.
“We have a pace attack which can change the course of a match in one spell or one good over. We take this as a positive sign, the pitch here is really good, and we have a good bowling attack. We need runs on the board,” the 44-year-old said.
He also exuded confidence about his batsmen coming good.
“Our batsmen are also doing well, in fact we are the only team so far in the World Cup to have scored more than 200 runs in one game. Skipper Shahid Afridi is in great form, so we are very confident of our team,” said Waqar, who also singled out spinning all-rounder Imad Wasim as the one to watch out for.
“Spinners have a huge role in the World Cup and that is why most of the teams are playing at least two spinners. Imad Wasim is a very talented youngster both with the ball and the bat and even as a fielder. Coming in at six or seven when quick runs are needed, he can be handy,” concluded the coach.