India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India-Pakistan games extend beyond cricket ground, says Gautam Gambhir

India are all set to take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday at the Oval. Left-handed batsman Gautam Gambhir prior to the clash has said that an India-Pakistan match is always a competition between Indian batting and Pakistan bowling. 

By: Express Web Desk | Published:June 17, 2017 7:54 pm
India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Indian Express India take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at the Oval. (Source: AP)

India are all set to take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Sunday at the Oval. Left-handed batsman Gautam Gambhir prior to the clash has said that an India-Pakistan match is always a competition between Indian batting and Pakistan bowling.

“For years the India-Pakistan contest has been a battle between India’s batting and Pakistan bowling. Earlier, it used to be Shoaib (Akhtar) and Umar Gul vs us and now Amir is their best bowler. Given the flat nature of wickets in the competition so far I don’t see any threat for India. May be Amir can do something out of ordinary, conditions permitting,” Gambhir said while talking to PTI.

When asked about the playing combination, Gambhir suggested that someone like Umesh Yadav can be a suitable option in the playing XI as the Oval track has some bounce in it.

“I know it is a tricky one but given that the Oval pitch has bounce I would be tempted to play Umesh. Besides, any subcontinental team is generally comfortable against spin which is another reason why I would prefer Umesh although Ashwin too is a fantastic competitor,” Gambhir felt.

Talking about the rivalry and India-Pakistan game, the KKR skipper emphasised that the games extend beyond cricket ground.

“I think the game is between two teams, two countries and not individuals. It surely is a mouth-watering finale, something that every player looks forward to. From the pride point of view you can never forget such games. I remember playing Pakistan in the finals of T20 World Cup in 2007 and ended up scoring highest runs for India. “I didn’t realise the magnitude of that innings and the win till I met a few soldiers of Indian army at an event in
Delhi weeks later. They were posted on the border in Kashmir and one of them had fought in Kargil too. They told me how proud they were of our 2007 T20 World Cup win. I hate to say this but India-Pakistan games extend beyond cricket ground. There are so many other aspects to it,” said Gambhir.

Hailing India’s tactics and planning, Gambhir told that the team has been able to put a halt at the run-flow of opponent side whenever required.

“I think it’s about conditions and match situations. Generally in England, you save wickets and go hard in the end. If the sun is out, wicket is flat and you are chasing a big target, then you may go all out in power play. But if it’s
cloudy then you may want to revise that. I think our team has been pretty smart in their approach. They have picked the right moment and bowlers to take runs off,” said Gambhir.

The left-handed batsman suggested that the comments made by former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail on Sarfraz’s side making it into the final had no meaning without any proves.

“Well, Aamer Sohail has to substantiate this, till then these comments have no meaning,” he added.

Talking about final match, Gautam Gambhir said that holding the nerves on crucial stages in the game would play a major role.

“The key will be to control nerves, play your own game, in short play the game and not the event. I think India is heavy on experience, something that Pakistan lacks,” the KKR captain said.

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