Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Feels like a best of three-match series against India, says Mohammad Rizwan
Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan said his teammates had joked that the Asia Cup match will be a “best of three-match series” between the two teams. Pakistan will take on India for the second time on Sunday.
Regardless of the result of the game on Sunday, India and Pakistan will still face off in this summit match on September 11. As a result, the archrivals will meet three times, all on Sundays. Last Sunday, India defeated Pakistan by a margin of five wickets.
“Fans from both countries anticipate a third meeting in next week’s final. We have jokingly said among ourselves that it’s a best of three-match series (between India and Pakistan),” Rizwan said in Sharjah after Pakistan’s mammoth 155-run win over Hong Kong.
Political issues prevented a bilateral series between the two nations for nearly 10 years, but the Asia Cup has helped to satisfy supporters’ thirst for action.
After Pakistan scored 193/2, Rizwan led the way with an unbeaten 78 as they confirmed their advancement to the “Super 4” by bowling Hong Kong for a record-low score of 38.
On Sunday, Pakistan will play India in the first game of their “Super 4” series, a rematch of their Asia Cup opener at the same location exactly one week earlier.
India and Pakistan are expected to finish top-two in the round-robin Super 4, where they are competing against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, to set up yet another Sunday battle in the Asia Cup final on September 11.
“Playing India is always a pressure game. Even people outside Asia wait for it. Obviously it’s always like a ‘final’ as there’s so much passion involved in this game.
“We have to play good cricket and make the final. Obviously, we have to strengthen our cricket and put in the hard work,” the 30-year-old said.
A year ago, Rizwan and captain Babar Azam were instrumental in Pakistan’s victory over India at the T20 World Cup.
Maintaining normal and simplicity is the key to success in these high-stakes games, according to Rizwan.
“The pressure will be equally on India and us. But the result will be with whoever remains brave and keeps calm.
“The more you keep the game normal, it is better as it’s the best thing to do. I tell players, whether you play India or Hong Kong, at the end of the day you have to play with bat and ball.
“So it’s about keeping it simple. Yes, it’s a big game and the boys are high on confidence. We will put in the hard work.”
Pakistan would like to see their star captain Babar Azam get back to scoring runs.
The No. 1 T20I and ODI batter in the world got off to a slow start in the Asia Cup. After scoring just 10 and 9 against India and Hong Kong, respectively. However, Rizwan claimed that his captain will soon regain his form.
“Babar is a superstar and he is world No 1. He knows how to go about it and it has been just two innings. And we sometimes keep saying that he doesn’t get an evil eye. He has scored a lot of runs for us in the past and this has been just two games,” Rizwan said.