World Cup cricket: Unbeaten Team India set for Pakistan clash
Ahead of the high-octane match between India and Pakistan in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Bangar said that it is the hype and excitement built up around the game that makes it really special.
India will face Pakistan in their third match of the World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
Speaking to Star Sports, Bangar said, "See, it's there in the back of every player's mind as to how important a match it is. I've even seen and heard of the relief some of the greats of Indian cricket felt after the encounter against Pakistan... But before the match, one player tries to downplay the match. The undertone in that situation is not to ignite the passion but to deflate their passion and little bit, and it's done through the thoughts that the management and the captain are communicating to the team. They try to underplay the situation by discussing matters such as going over the basics and repeating the processes and the rest."
"This is done so that the players are able to control their emotions in front of a 1 lakh odd people, and so that they don't get swayed by the emotion, passion and excitement. Because at the end of the day, they have to bowl in the right areas and play a ball according to its merit. But it's the hype and excitement built up around the game that makes it really special for the players as well," he added.
Bangar also shared his views on Rohit Sharma as a captain giving complete freedom to other players in the team to play their game to their full potential.
"The biggest result to come from that is the team's fear of losing diminishes, I am not talking about the team's fear as a whole, but every player's fear of not performing has diminished. If a player is hesitant to play his shots, then he will never be in a position to play according to his game plan. Rohit has encouraged them to play their shot, and told them at the most what's going to happen is they are going to get out, nothing else. And if it's a bowler the worst is probably he'll go for a few extra runs. That helps the players to develop a mindset where one can tame their fears, and helps them play their natural game," Banger further said.
India are unbeaten so far in the tournament with most of the players performing well in the game. Rohit Sharma also has been in phenomenal form, scoring the fastest ODI century in the World Cup for India in the match against Afghanistan on Wednesday.
"So he gives them the advantage of believing in themselves, by giving them freedom and backing. If one does get out playing bad shots in a couple of matches, it does hurt. Two players come to mind as the biggest example for this, one is Virender Sehwag. When he used to play his shots he looked fabulous, but he even got out playing unusual strokes. Rishabh Pant is also very similar. But these kind of players, when they get going change the nature of the match. If that kind of mindset is developed amongst all players in the team, we'll have not 2 or 3, but more than 5 match winners," the former
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.