T20 World Cup: India Can Bounce Back vs Pakistan, says Ravichandran Ashwin
India face a must-win situation against Pakistan in their T20 World Cup clash in Kolkata on Saturday. Ravichandran Ashwin said India had the confidence to get their winning momentum back. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says the pressure will be on India
Ravichandran Ashwin was in super confident mood at a press conference in Kolkata on Friday ahead of Saturday's ICC T20 World Cup match against Pakistan. The Indian spinner swatted questions on India's form and confidence after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team made a dismal start in the first match in Nagpur on Tuesday.
India must beat Pakistan to stay in the hunt for a semifinal spot from Group B of the championship. New Zealand and Pakistan won their opening games and have a better run-rate than world No. 1 India. But that doesn't seem to worry Ashwin.
"If there is any team in the world that can bounce back from this scenario, it is India. We have been in similar situations in the past and know how to come out of it," Ashwin said.
'India under pressure'
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis told reporters on Friday that Indian will be under "huge pressure" going into Saturday's match.
"They run the risk of going out of the tournament and that adds a lot of pressure on them. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we are happy with our Bangladesh performance and if we can repeat that, we will have a good chance," the former speedster said.Â Â
India's lead spinner did not seem to worry about the team's current form. India have been on a winning streak in T20s and had they beaten New Zealand in Nagpur, they have would equalled England's eight wins on-the-trot achieved in 2010.
'No team has edge'
"It was a bad day at Nagpur. In Kolkata, no team has an edge. We will start 50-50 with Pakistan," Ashwin said. Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup contest.
Saying conditions will determine choice of playing XI in Kolkata, Ashwin said an India-Pakistan contest was "bigger than the Ashes" and "rivalry was huge."
Emotions have already been high ahead of Saturday's match with Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi triggering debates on loyalty and nationalism with his 'India love' comment.
'More than just cricket'
Ashwin agrees that Saturday's match is "more than just cricket."
"It is more of a border rivalry," said Ashwin, hinting at recent attacks in India by terrorists from Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. They have only played in international tournaments like the World Cups.
A plucky Ashwin is confident of an Indian win. "Momentum is important and we have to pick that up from Eden Gardens," he said.
Pakistan have won their first match at Eden, comprehensively beating Asia Cup finalists Bangladesh by 55 runs on Wednesday. Afridi was Man of the Match with an all-round show.