Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz stressed the importance of being calm and composed ahead of the highly anticipated T20 World Cup game against India. Pakistan will face their arch-rivals in Melbourne on October 23.
New Delhi,UPDATED: 14 Oct 2022 18:22 IST
Mohammad Nawaz played a key role in Pakistan’s T20I tri-series victory in New Zealand (AFP photo)
By India Today Web Desk: Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz said on Friday, October 14 that Pakistan wants to approach the highly anticipated opener against India in the T20 World Cup without getting swept up in the hype surrounding the match. Pakistan will face India in their opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23, a day after the start of the Super 12 stage of the World Cup.
Mohammad Nawaz said treating their match against India as “just another match” will only help them perform at their best. Despite players and former cricketers knocking out the fixture, the marquee is seen as one of the potential blockbusters. Tickets and additional tickets to the MCG meeting sold out in minutes and the iconic venue is expected to be filled to the brim with support from both sides.
Pakistan will have a head start when they meet India, as Babar Azam’s men have beaten their arch-rivals in two of their last three encounters, including the Asia Cup match in September.
“I think the way we played, especially against India and even before that, we played cricket very well. Later against England we had a few crunch games and even the series we won here should give a lot of confidence to all players.
“Our preparations are now complete and hopefully we will just see it as another game (against India) and not think too much about playing India. We just have to prepare well and try to run it in the middle and play the game play,” Nawaz told the press after Pakistan won the T20I tri-series final against New Zealand in Christchurch.
Pakistan defeated India in the Asian Cup Super 4, but lost to Sri Lanka in the final. The former World Cup champions then lost a 3-4 home series to England. Nevertheless, the T20I tri-series victory over New Zealand and Bangladesh has served them well for the ICC showpiece event.
NAWAZ’S BATTING RISE
The bat shape of Nawaz is a big boost for Pakistan, which was concerned about the ordinary performances of the middle class. The left-handed batter has been used as a floater and came out well in Friday’s final against New Zealand by hitting a quickfire of 38 off 22 balls.
Nawaz also hit a 20-ball 45 against Bangladesh in the final group match of the T20I tri-series. Nawaz showed his decisiveness in the Asia Cup Super 4 match against India, hitting a 20-ball 42 in Pakistan’s successful pursuit of 182.
Speaking of his batting form, Nawaz said he hopes to become a three-dimensional player for Pakistan and shed light on his evolution as a great middle-class batter.
“I think it’s always a big game against India, a game under high pressure and if you perform well there, the rest of the games will be a bit easy for you, compared to the game in India. But I think this one journey started even earlier than that.
“The team’s expectations for me are that I perform in both bowling and batting so I’m concentrating on both. Anyway, in today’s cricket the requirement is that you have to be a three-dimensional player,” added Nawaz .