While the teams involved tend to downplay the hype surrounding the rivalry and the importance of the game, Ravichandran Ashwin’s comments on match eve have been a welcome change from the banal.
“As far as Indians and Pakistanis go, I don’t think they watch this as a game of cricket. It’s more of a border rivalry,” Ashwin said.
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A look at what has been said in recent times in the run-up to India-Pakistan matches.
2015 Dhoni: “We have to try our best, and that’s what it’s all about. As far as the preparation in the dressing room is concerned, it looks just fantastic, and all to the fact that when we play Pakistan there’s more intensity on the field”
2011 Dhoni: “It depends on what you actually mean by hype – the hype created by the media, the sponsors. We are not getting involved and that is what is important.”
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2007 Dhoni: “I know it’s the biggest stage and the biggest match, but taking additional pressure doesn’t help anyone. We’ll just take it like another India-Pakistan match. And it helps that we’ve been playing each other more regularly recently.