World T20: Pakistan face India today

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Pakistan will take on India in the opening match of World T20 super 10 phase today (Friday).

Asian giants Pakistan and India will open their World Twenty20 campaign at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium today.

The match will start at 6:30 PST.

Shahid Afridi’s tournament-ending sixes off R Ashwin will still be fresh in the memory of the fans as well as the players from both sides when Mohammad Hafeez and Mahendra Singh Dhoni stride out for the toss at the Sher-e-Bangla on Friday night. It was at this same venue that, three weeks back, an Afridi-driven Pakistan had ended India’s Asia Cup interest with an extraordinary last-over, one-wicket victory.

India and Pakistan are both former winners of the World T20, but the similarity ends there. Since its unexpected triumph in 2007,

India hasn’t so much as threatened to make it to the knockout semi-finals; Pakistan, champions in 2009, has made at least the semi-final of each of the four preceding World T20s, its consistency and increased familiarity with the format giving it the slightest of edges.

Pakistan captain Muhammad Hafeez said beating India will be important in the opening match of the ICC World T20.

Speaking to a news conference, he stated it has nothing to do with history as victory in the first game will be important because a good start will give us momentum in the tournament.

Pakistan recently beat India in the Asia cup to reach final of the tournament.

He noted, “I am glad we are playing India first up. We are all excited about this game. The morale is good because we beat them in the Asia Cup. But we have to be at our best to win.”

For Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, previous results will be irrelevant when the teams take to the field at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in the Bangladeshi capital on Friday evening.

“Nothing of the past matters in this game,” he said, reminding critics that India lost just one game at the 2012 edition and yet failed to make the knock-out rounds.

2014-03-21

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