Ahmedabad, Oct 13: Pakistan are yet to defeat India in a Men’s ODI World Cup match and fast-bowler Hasan Ali stated that his team are eager to break the jinx when the two teams face-off in a high-octane clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
What comes as a boost for Pakistan is them having an overall win-loss record over India in the format. Saturday’s match also marks the first instance of Pakistan and India playing an ODI against each other on Indian soil after a decade.
"Records are meant to be broken and we too are looking forward to breaking this jinx of not having beaten India in a 50-over World Cup. It is India who will be under pressure as it is their home ground with fans turning up to support them. There is always pressure in a big game like this but we will try to gain momentum early in the proceedings and win the contest.”
"This is the best (sporting) rivalry in the world. Many players have already spoken about how everyone around the globe tunes into this match. The team is excited for this game, and so am I to play at a venue hosting fans in excess of 100,000. We are looking forward to the game,” said Hasan to PCB Digital.
Pakistan kicked off their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup campaign with a comfortable 81-run win over the Netherlands, followed by successfully chasing a record 345 against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad. Hasan believes Pakistan starting the tournament with back-to-back wins has lifted the side’s confidence ahead of clash against India.
"Efforts like the record chase against Sri Lanka, boost the morale of a side. There were some fantastic individual and collective performances against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. When you start a tournament with consecutive wins, it boosts your confidence."
Hasan, who was drafted in as a replacement for Naseem Shah, took 4-71 in 10 overs against Sri Lanka and feels picking scalps along with variations in the fag end of the innings kept things under control.
“We were aware of the fact that the pitch was flat and it will be a high-scoring match. Credit goes to how aggressively Sadeera (Samarawickrama) and (Kusal) Mendis played and pushed us on the back foot. The only way to put them under pressure was by taking their wickets. When I returned to bowl in my second spell, I planned according to the field setting.”
"I used variations at the right time and got the important wicket of Mendis followed by another in the next over. When you take wickets, you stem the flow of runs and we made a good comeback in the game by not giving away many runs in the death overs.”
Hasan also credited the experience of bowling in high-pressure environments for helping him excel against Sri Lanka. “The six, seven years’ experience of international cricket obviously helps you and you try to utilise it in an important tournament such as this.”
"Being a senior player, there is extra pressure in World Cup. You are always slightly nervous when you enter the ground, but, as an experienced player, it does not take long to become used to the situation. I kept myself relaxed and just focused on my plans.” (IANS)