Hype Around India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match Is Created By The Social Media And Fans: Mohammad Rizwan
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Hype Around India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match Is Created By The Social Media And Fans: Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

On Saturday, Pakistan’s vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan, said that social media and fans create the hype around the India-Pakistan match. Pertinently, Pakistan will open its T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24.

However, it’s worth noting that the Men in Green are yet to beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

We will consider it like any other game: Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan has been in red-hot form in T20s in 2021. (Shaun Botterill/Getty)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

India and Pakistan faced each other in the round-robin stage of the 2019 ODI World Cup, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Rizwan further maintained that they will take it as another game further aiming to do well against a solid Indian side led by Virat Kohli.

“This India-Pakistan match, we will consider it like any other game. The hype is being created by the social media and fans, which is fine, but in our hearts and minds, we will consider this game the same as one against any other side. Because, if we as players take on the additional pressure of this game, then that won’t be as good as it has happened before,” said Rizwan during a virtual press conference.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan has had a staggering 2021 so far in the shortest format for Pakistan. In just 17 games, he has scored a hundred, as well as seven half-centuries averaging 94. Mohammad Rizwan had a brilliant series against England, where he scored 176 runs in three innings. Although Pakistan lost the series 2-1, he feels the team got a great understanding of their preparation for the T20 World Cup.

The 29-year-old averages just under 49 after 43 T20s, and has risen to seventh in the ICC rankings for batters. He had a stellar 20-over series recently in England, with scores of 63, 37, and 76 not out as the men in green put up a good fight before losing the series 2-1. Mohammad Rizwan amassed 176 runs in the series averaging 88, and topped the batting charts, while Babar Azam was 3rd on the list with 118 runs averaging 39.33.

Mohammad Rizwan: None Of The Sides Has An Advantage Playing In The UAE

Mohammad Rizwan also ruled out the fact that playing in the UAE will give Pakistan an upper hand as they have played a lot of cricket on UAE soil.

“I have never been a believer in the fact that anyone side, including Pakistan, has any special advantage in UAE or anywhere else,” he said.

“All we can say is that the tournament is being held in Asia as I consider the UAE to be in Asia. Yes, we have been playing there for a while and we used to say that UAE is our home ground but I never accepted that because the pitches there, from what I understood, were made with soil from Australia or from other parts of the world,” he added.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed. Photo Credit: Reuters.
“So, even if UAE was called our home ground, that was not the case,” he signed off.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem, selectors said Saturday.

Shoaib Malik captained Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. He played the last of his 116 Twenty20 internationals against England in September last year.

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