India, Pakistan are all set to take on each other in their ICC Champions Trophy opener on June 4. India, who are 1-2 behind in Champions Trophy head-to-head with their arch-rivals, will be looking to level the scores and start their campaign on a winning note. Coming in with two massive wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh in the warm-ups, Virat Kohli-led side have momentum on their side.
Dinesh Karthik, who was included in the team after Manish Pandey was ruled out due to an injury, is making a comeback into the national team after three years. Karthik’s previous ODI appearance for India came against Afghanistan, where he scored an unbeaten 21 runs.
Karthik is aware of the pressure of ICC Champions Trophy and believes whichever team handles the pressure will emerge as a clear winner. “At the end of the day in a one-day match, especially in an India – Pakistan match where the pressure is so much. It is all about whoever handles the pressure better, will come out as a winner. Both the teams are good,” Karthik said in video uploaded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on their official Twitter account.
Dinesh is featuring in his second Champions Trophy as he was in the 15-man squad which won the previous edition under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Hardik Pandya, who smashed a 54-ball 80 in the match against Bangladesh, too will play a crucial role for India. The all-rounder is confident and feels India will play their best game in their tournament opener. “We are taking this match as a normal game and looking forward to play our best game,” said Hardik Pandya. So far he has played seven one-day international matches, where he has scored 160 runs and claimed nine wickets at an average of 32.88.