BIRMINGHAM: Ahead of his first ICC event match as captain, Pakistan’s young and energetic skipper Sarfraz Ahmad has brushed aside all talks of being under pressure before the match against India.
Talking to media at Edgbaston on Saturday, ahead of Pakistan’s much-awaited match against India in the ICC Champions Trophy, Sarfaraz said that pressure is on Indian, not on Pakistan.
“We are placed at 8th, so we have got nothing to lose from here, so it is India who’s under pressure of being the favorite and on-paper strong team,” Sarfaraz said.
He, however, added that it doesn’t matter which team is stronger on paper and what matters is the performance on match day.
“I agree that India on paper is a stronger team than Pakistan. But, now it doesn’t matter at all. The one who performs better on match day is the one who is going to win the match,” said Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman.
The 30-year-old Sarfraz added that youngsters in the squad are told only to focus on the game and not about match related hype in the media.
“This one particular game can make anyone a hero back home. So, I have advised youngsters to concentrate and focus on the game instead of giving time to notice hearsay and match related hype,” he said.
“We have two or three players who have played ICC events against India, we have told youngsters not to take any pressure and take it as just another game and play your game freely,” Sarfraz added.
Pakistan skipper said the team has prepared a plan to overpower India’s batting line but didn’t give media any clue of what has been planned by the team.
“We have our plans in place, we will go with the best and do some out of box things which you haven’t seen us doing against India in the past,” he said
“Kohli’s wicket will be the key, so we will try to get him out earlier and put pressure on India,” he said.
Pakistan skipper added that Wahab Riaz has regained his fitness and is available for selection for the match against India.