The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is just over six weeks away but all eyes will be on India vs Pakistan clash on June 16 in Manchester. The rivalry between India and Pakistan is legendary in the World Cup with India winning all six encounters against Pakistan starting from the 1992 World Cup clash in Sydney. Heading into the clash, India is expected to continue their dominance against a Pakistan side struggling for confidence after they were whitewashed 5-0 at home against Australia last month. However, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has stated that the team must approach every game in the World Cup like they are playing India.
“The match against India is very important in many ways but it is one match and we need to play all our remaining matches in the tournament like we are playing against India,” Sarfaraz said in an interview to a Pakistan channel.
In order to prepare for the World Cup, Pakistan will be playing five ODIs and a Twenty20 International against England starting on May 5. The team is currently in Kent where they will use the period to acclimatize to the conditions. Mohammad Amir, who starred in Pakistan’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017 clash against India in the final, has not been named in the 15-man squad but is in the side for the England series.
Sarfaraz said that he was under no pressure as captain before the mega-event. "Where I bat we will decide as the matches go but there is complete unanimity between me and Mickey Arthur and the selection committee over the players selected," he said when asked if he had been consulted in the finalisation of the squad. Sarfaraz said his team had the talent and depth to surprise any team but it was important for players to gain momentum and maintain it in the tournament as every team would have to play nine games to qualify for the knockout stage.
Sarfaraz was happy that other teams had been given the favourites tag in the World Cup. "It is good for us as it means there will be more pressure on the teams given the favourite tag and it also means that we can play as underdogs that is when we give our best and perform."