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The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is set to begin from Thursday when hosts England will take on Bangladesh in London while defending champions India will begin their campaign from June 4 against arch rivals Pakistan Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Prior to the start of their campaign against India, Pakistan’s mainstay talked about the match and the atmosphere whenever Pakistan lock horns with India.
“I think when the game starts, it feels quite normal (for the players),” Azhar said after a lengthy training session at Edgbaston.
Ali added that the players play their natural game and don’t really focus on the opposition they are facing.
“The players are playing the situation, whatever the teams need at that time. Players are professionals, so they tend to mould into that situation rather than thinking too much about who we are playing. It’s a ball and bat and you just want to perform with those. “As a professional, you have to take it as a game,” he stressed.
“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 added.
Talking about his own game, Azhar looked satisfied with his fitness and his form.
“If you set too many expectations on yourself you will only end up putting more pressure on yourself. “I’m happy with my fitness and form, really want to go in the middle and perform for Pakistan. Every player in this
tournament will want the same, because ICC events are a great opportunity to establish yourself,” said Azhar Ali.