VVS Laxman has welcomed the India's decision of abstaining from playing a bilateral series against Pakistan citing the broader context of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Earlier, Sports Minister Vijay Goel had ruled out the possibility of the Indo-Pak series in the near future.
"I think I always enjoyed playing against Pakistan, but it is very important to respect whatever the government's decision is because it is beyond sport at the moment," VVS Laxman told TOI.
India will face their arch-rivals in the upcoming Champions Trophy match on Sunday. Pakistan clinched to a 2-wicket victory against Bangladesh in their warm up game while the Indian team put on a splendid show in both their warm-up ties raising the bar for their opponents. Laxman believed that India has what it takes to beat their rivals.
"I think Pakistan are a very good team and any match between India and Pakistan will be
India won both their warm-up games with ease defeating New Zealand by a margin of 45-runs (D/L) and handing out a 240-run defeat to Bangladesh courtesy of their all-around performance. Laxman noted that the team through its splendid performances has emerged as one of the
"I am very confident that India would do well in the Champions Trophy and they will defend the title, especially the way they played in the last two warm-up games," the 42-year old said.
Shikhar Dhawan made a strong comeback to the side and staked his claim for the opening spot with a splendid 60 run innings against Bangladesh and a well-earned 40 against the Kiwis. Dinesh Karthik, too, made his presence felt against Bangladesh with the wicketkeeper-batsman scoring an explosive 77-ball 94 and helped India put up a colossal total of 324. The former Indian star was impressed with the mesmerising performances of the duo.
"Our batsmen are in form. I am very impressed with the way Shikhar Dhawan batted in both the matches. Even Dinesh Karthik used the opportunity against Bangladesh brilliantly.", said the former Indian batsman.
Laxman also stated that the likes of skipper Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja were also amongst runs which
"The bowlers were outstanding in the two games. They were bowling an attacking line and length, looking to be aggressive, looking to pick up wickets," he said.
The 42-year old dodged the questions regarding rumours of a rift between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble.
He stated,"This is not the platform to talk about that."
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.