India vs Pakistan ICC World Twenty20: Top-10 quotes ahead of the Super-10 opener
Former ICC World Twenty20 champions India and Pakistan clash in the opening match of the Super-10 in Mirpur (Dhaka) on Friday. Like always, the match has evinced plenty of interest from current and former cricketers.
The players may choose to underplay the media hype around a match involving India and Pakistan, but deep within, they know the importance of this contest, irrespective of its status. India and Pakistan will match eyeball-to-eyeball in Mirpur (Dhaka) on Friday in the opening match of the Super-10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20. India were beaten by Pakistan in a thrilling match of the Asia Cup recently but every clash between the arch-rivals is a new beginning. It's not only a battle of skills but the team that holds its nerves in a high-pressure atmosphere usually manages to triumph. (India strengthened by Yuvraj, Raina's return, says Gavaskar)
Here's a selection of reactions from former and current players from India and Pakistan.
1) Moin Khan (Pakistan coach): "We beat India in the Asia Cup this month and this team looks good to make history. But they must express themselves freely on the field and not worry about the result."
2) MS Dhoni (India captain): "Nothing of the past matters in this game. The matches to follow are as important as the one on Friday, but we are not looking beyond our first game yet."
3) Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan's Test, ODI skipper): "Dhoni is a big stabilising force for India and his return means that Pakistan will have to work much harder to get that win over India"
4) Mohammed Hafeez (Pakistan's T20 captain): "We are confident about our T20 outfit which has both experience and dash and the good thing is that all the players are now used to playing India in a high pressure game." (Read: Afridi will be key in India-Pakistan clash, says Hafeez)
5) Imran Khan (Pakistan's World Cup-winning captain): "Any game against India is a pressure game because of the tensions and expectations associated with the match. But I would only advise our players to go out and play fearlessly without any fear of defeat. They must play their natural game and not worry about losing."
6) Younis Khan (Former Pakistan captain): "At the end of the day, in any Indo-Pak match it is all about keeping your nerves and coping with the expectations of millions of people following the match all over the world."
7) Umar Akmal (Current player): "Pakistan-India matches draw a lot of hype but I am not afraid of this big game. I'll remain fearless."
8) Gautam Gambhir (Former Indian opener): "India vs Pakistan is a big game but it is not as if the world is going to come to a standstill. It's not the biggest game in someone's career." (Watch interview)
9) Shahid Afridi (Former skipper and current Pakistan player): "It's just not about the match against India. It is also about how we play the other games. I am feeling fit and fine now and the spirits are good in the team. But we all realise that the win in the Asia Cup is now history and this is a different format so we need to start afresh against India."
10) MS Dhoni (India captain): "We have to do well in each and every match. If you look at the last World T20 in Sri Lanka, we lost one match (vs Australia) and were knocked out of the tournament. It is a tough group. Also you have to realize that in this format, the difference between a good team and a not so good team is very less. I believe even they have the talent to upset big sides. It depends on what kind of cricket you play on that particular day."