Sport Mahmood believes India will handle pressure better than Pakistan
How many clean sheets have India kept in the last decade?
From Subrata Paul to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the Indian team have had a safe pair of hands under the sticksSubrata Paul became the India's custodian in goal in the 2007 Nehru Cup, taking over the mantle from Sandip Nandy, and in that very tournament, he was adjudged the best goalkeeper. One of the most memorable performances came in the final where he put up an impressive show to keep Syrian attacks at bay and helped India clinch their maiden Nehru Cup title by a narrow 1-0 margin.
Former Pakistan allrounder Azhar Mahmood believes that fierce rivals India have an edge over Babar Azam’s charges at the T20 World Cup.
Mahmood opined that India are better suited to handling pressure in-game.
India will handle pressure better than Pakistan
The Pakistan bowling coach also concedes that the IPL has given India an edge with all their players in action in high-quality T20 cricket.
“India-Pakistan games are always special when it comes to the hype and the pressure on players and the age-old cliché of any team can win on the day does apply to the game in this T20 World Cup as well. But realistically speaking, India does have an advantage going into this game as their players have been participating in the IPL which was played in the same venues in the UAE. So apart from playing highly competitive cricket, they also will have a good understanding of the playing conditions in the UAE,” wrote Mahmood on PakPassion.net.
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Pakistan were forced to move their domestic National T20 Cup forward to give their players some prep for the World Cup. Mahmood believes that Pakistan’s opening match at the showpiece, against India, will be a tight affair that could be decided by individual brilliance.
“But let us not forget that Pakistani players have also taken part in some intense Twenty20 cricket in the recently concluded National T20 Cup which was moved due to the cancellation of the New Zealand tour. Having said that, we all know that any India-Pakistan match is generally won by the side that is most able to absorb the pressure and in a format like Twenty20, it can easily come down to just one over where a batsman or bowler can totally change the complexion of the game,” he added.
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Number one quality
Mahmood has backed Pakistan to be a force at the tournament with many squad players having been part of the team that reached number one on the T20I rankings not so long ago.
“Regardless of current form, the fact is that Pakistan have done very well in the Twenty20 games in the past. In fact, most of the squad chosen for the ICC T20 World Cup such as Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi are players who were part of the squad when Pakistan were top of the ICC Rankings. My point is that this side is no stranger to tough matches and we should expect them to do well in this tournament also, regardless of the opposition. This is exactly why I have high hopes that we will perform well and win our tournament opener against India,” he wrote.
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