On Sunday Pakistan takes on India in their Champions Trophy opening clash, before the match Pakistani player Azhar Ali praised the Indian bowling attack but he also clarified that his team is well equipped to handle any challenge. Azhar also played down the fixture as 'just another game'.
The stage is set for the Champions Trophy tournament which is scheduled to start today and India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their first game on June 4.
This high-voltage clash is a hot topic for cricket experts as well as the players. In the buildup to the game, Pakistani opener Azhar Ali applauded Indian bowlers saying, "India's bowling has improved a lot in the recent past but we also have a good bowling group", as quoted by Cricbuzz.
The Indian pace quartet of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav have created a reputation for themselves ever since the last world cup and now they're set to test their arch-rivals. And though, Azar Ali acknowledged the Indian
"Every team is trying their best to perform in batting, bowling, and fielding as well. There's nothing easy in international cricket. We expect every team to post a challenge."
Azhar, who scored 1605 runs in 45 matches at an average of over 38, insisted in a press conference that the much-awaited game against India was just another match for his side. More importantly, he encouraged his side to play their natural game in the tournament.
“I think when the game starts, it feels quite normal (for the players). The players are playing the situation, whatever the teams need at that time. Players are professionals, so they tend to
“No international game comes easy to you, you have to work hard for it and it will be the same against India. For every team, whenever a player puts on his country’s shirt, he aims to give his best. It will be the same for both teams and I think fans will enjoy the game. We are fully focussed on the brand of cricket we want to play and we are taking it as a normal game. I know these words and expectations are there, just like they are in India they will be there in Pakistan too. We’ll try to live up to those expectations", he concluded.
Did you know, Lasith Malinga is the only bowler in the world to have two World Cup hat-tricks, the only bowler to have taken three hat-tricks in ODIs and the only player to have taken four wickets in four consecutive balls in any form of international cricket.
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India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.