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Pakistan is focused on their first match of the ICC Champions Trophy when they face arch-rivals India on June 4 at Edgbaston. Pakistan will face India for the first time in a 50-over match in more than two years. Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed feels that they have nothing to lose in the Champions Trophy. India and Pakistan last played against each other in World Cup 2015 in Australia, two years back.
The tournament is likely to be a huge test for Sarfaraz who is playing his first major ICC tournament as captain. Add to that, he will be facing arch-rivals India in the opener to further the pressure.
“We are very hopeful about the India match but our aim is to first perform well in our opening practice match as a team unit,” Sarfaraz told reporters at Edgbaston. “Obviously, performing against India is important because the whole nation is expecting us to win against them, so we will give our full 100 per cent in the ground. We will try our fullest to be seen fighting. All players (are) giving their heart out in each and every department of the game and when we’re together giving our best and keeping our focus, the result will surely come good.”
Pakistan had recently won the series in all formats against West Indies but are still not the favorites to clinch the Champions Trophy, with teams like India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand being equal contenders to lift the trophy. But Sarfaraz has advised his team to give their best by playing fearless cricket.
“We have nothing to lose, we just want to play our natural game,” the 30-year-old said. “We are very hopeful of playing well in this tournament and we want to win it. Against the West Indies, we had a big fielding improvement We don’t see us as having a surprise element, we want to come here and play free cricket, starting against India.
“This is my first major tournament as captain, I’m definitely very hopeful and excited about the competition. My aim is to play my own game, to not play under pressure and to just play as I do in domestic cricket,” the wicket-keeper batsman concluded.