Asia Cup 2022: As players, we have to focus on it as any other game, says Hardik Pandya

by IANS |

Dubai, Aug 28 (IANS) India all-rounder Hardik Pandya said although a match against Pakistan is a special game, his teammates will be treating it as any other game of cricket. Sunday's Group A clash will see the resumption of the 'greatest rivalry' in the world of cricket at the Dubai International Stadium.

It is also the first meeting between India and Pakistan after facing off in the Men's T20 World Cup last year in the UAE, where Pakistan secured a resounding 10-wicket victory over India in the Super 10 stage, their first such victory in Men's World Cups.

"All set and we've prepared well. It is a special game (against Pakistan) but as players, we have to focus on it as any other game and focus on the things we control," said Pandya in a pre-match chat with broadcasters.

Since his comeback to the India T20I side in June, Pandya has put impactful all-round contributions which have tilted matches in India's favour.

"Obviously, very pleased and peaceful in my mind. It has never been the case that I wouldn't want to show what I have, but it is about being in a peaceful place and performing. It is never about proving a point. More often than not, if I do that it will help my team," added Pandya.

Pandya, who is playing in an Asia Cup match after being stretchered off the field in the 2018 edition and was subsequently ruled out of the competition due to an acute lower back injury. He credited the current team management for a very relaxed atmosphere on the side.

"I have been in and out of the team, but to see the respect and value they have given me is incredible. That helps me perform better. The kind of mindset we are coming from, the players are much more relaxed."

"They don't want to feel the pressure of playing for India, they just want to express themselves. Credit to the management for making this team much more secure than any team I have ever played with in the past."

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