T20 WC: Pitch gives us a chance vs Pak, quips Canada's Johnson

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 11, 2024 IST

Canada Batters

New York, June 11: Bigger teams Australia, England and Pakistan playing mind games before a crucial match against their opposition with strong statements is not new. But Canada daring Pakistan with the same tactic may stun many cricket lovers and experts.

However, with Pakistan losing to co-hosts USA and then to arch rivals India in their two Group A league matches in the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, the situation has perhaps inspired Canada to play some midgame against Babar Azam & Co.

But interestingly, Canada have sounded an alarm to Pakistan not by virtue of their cricketing skills alone, but the challenging New York pitch as well.

Just before they lock horns with Pakistan in a T20 World Cup match, Canada batter Aaron Johnson feels the unpredictable nature of the pitch at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York has made the clash evenly poised for both sides.

 Canada and Pakistan will face each other for the second time in the T20I history after meeting in 2008. The Men in Green won that encounter and will look to replicate that victory in the T20 showpiece. Canada started their campaign with a seven-wicket loss against co-hosts USA but they bounced back in the next match and overpowered Ireland by 12 runs. Pakistan have lost to the USA and India in their opening two Group A matches and will need to win against Canada to stay alive in the tournament.

Talking about their opponents, Johnson acknowledged the Pakistani players' experience but also stated the uncertain nature of the pitch making it a level playing field for both sides.

 “I think they (Pakistani players) are very skilled players. Most of these guys have been going around the world playing league cricket, not only international cricket, so their skills are there. But if you're looking for an opportunity, you have to relish these moments. So, I believe the fact that the wicket is playing some tricks, it levels the playing field for us, and we're looking to use that to our advantage," the ICC quoted Johnson as saying in the pre-match conference.

The right-handed batter lauded the side's win against Ireland and hoped that it would bring hefty investment in the sport in his country.

 “It's a historic win. It's our first T20 win against a test-playing nation, and this just shows that Canada has a lot to offer to the world of cricket. I'm pretty sure this will drive a lot of investment in Canadian cricket to show that we are here to compete. We are not just here to be a part of the tournament,” he said.

 “I think we have to just take it stride and keep moving forward.”

If Pakistan fail to win their last two Group A games with huge margins, or if any of those two matches are washed off by rain and sides split points, then Babar Azam & Co will fail to qualify for the Super Eight. (With IANS support) 

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