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T20 WC: Pakistan always played their hearts out against India, says Suresh Raina

Dubai [UAE] : Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina stated that Pakistan always played their ‘hearts out’ against the men in blue on the pitch as both sides gear up for another high-voltage clash in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The Sunday evening will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most sought and mouth-watering fixtures in cricketing history as team India lock horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup. The two teams met at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time in the group stages in 2007 when India won in a bowl-out.
Ahead of that, Suresh Raina shared his experience from this high-octane clash. “My experience in matches against Pakistan was that they always played their hearts out,” wrote Suresh Raina in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday.

“When India and Pakistan play, it’s always exciting and good for fans to watch. Many millions of people tune in and expect to be entertained – they are never disappointed. That was true from the start at the T20 World Cup and then they met in the final of the first tournament, with India winning by five runs.”

“I was involved in the games in 2014 and 2016. If you ask me, as a player, it was always a high-pressure game. In the build-up, everyone is just telling you how big it is. You need to make sure you calm your nerves, focus on the process and play 40 overs of good cricket. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the only way to try to win that game,” he added.

After almost over two years, Virat Kohli and Co. will face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan to rekindle the age-old rivalry. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over their rivals in World Cups as the head-to-head has been heavily dominated by the Men in Blue. However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talent and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all.

“This year, it will be exciting as both Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are excellent leaders, and knowing how important the game is, there will be so much passion on show from both teams. You know that the captains will set the example on that front, and that passion filters through to the rest of the team. Babar is one of the leading T20I batters in the world. Like Virat Kohli, he is proof that good batting and good captaincy go hand in hand,” Raina pointed.

The stakes are at an all-time high with Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan in this clash. Both sides have a strong lineup and on the day of this major fixture, only time will tell which side will emerge triumphantly.