While captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and veteran seamer Ashish Nehra did not attend India’s pre-match training as they were given rest on the eve crucial Asia Cup T20 game against Pakistan, there was one interesting sight during the training session.
Both India and Pakistan players were training alongside at the Khan Sahed Osma Ali Stadium and trained for one and half hour from 4 pm. But, during the entire two and half hour training session, no pleasantries were exchanged between the members of the two sides.
It was strange situations, there were four nets set up on the four center strips of the main stadium. In the first two nets, it was the Indian batsmen and in the next two were their Pakistani counterparts.
It is not uncommon that international players share a chat with their opponents during nets, but India and Pakistan players were in a total face off during the nets.
It’s certainly different from the 80’sor 90’s where one would find Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil enjoying a chat with Javed Miandad during the training session or Wasim Akram would exchange a few words with Sachin Tendulkar or Mohammad Azharuddin.
It is not known whether it’s the tension before the match or off-field tension for the now aborted series, it is a reality that an Indo-Pak match is slightly different from other duels.
Pakistan captain on Friday stated that politics and cricket should not be mixed but at the same time, he told Pakistan Cricket Board had always approached the BCCI to resume bilateral series with India.
“Sports can always develop a good relationship between countries. I think the Pakistani people want to see the Indians in Pakistan and vice-versa. We should not try to paint a political colour in sporting activities. Our government always took the first step in this regard,” Pakistan captain said.
In any case, the psychological battle has begun before the commencement of the on-field showdown today evening at Sher-e-Bangla stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka.