‘India superior to Pakistan but…’: Sourav Ganguly on the big T20 World Cup clash | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The much-awaited first-round clash between archrivals India and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup is scheduled for June 9 at the newly built 34,000-capacity newly-constructed Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.
India and Pakistan are favorites to make it to the Super 8 stage from Group A, which also includes Ireland.
India have banked on experienced players such as captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, perhaps playing for the last time in a T20 World Cup, to win back the title they won at the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007.
Speaking on Saturday at the opening of the Blue Ocean Corporation-organized International Procurement and Supply Chain Conference in Mumbai, former Indian captain and former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly discussed his thoughts on the marquee clash.
Ganguly stated that although India is better than Pakistan, the bitter rivals will present a formidable challenge in the Twenty20 format when the two teams play on June 9.
“Our record against Pakistan has been very, very good over a long period of time. In the T20 format, probably Pakistan is more dangerous compared to 50-overs (format). We beat them in Ahmedabad when they came to India and we beat them easily.
“India is superior and if they play well, if they play freely and I keep saying the word ‘freely’ all the time because (in) the last World Cup in Australia, I don’t think we played freely,” he said.
“Just put all the cobwebs behind. Don’t worry about winning or losing. Don’t think about winning the World Cup. Just go and play every game,” he added.
On India’s prospects, Ganguly said India has a strong possibility to win the T20 World Cup. The USA and the West Indies will co-host the event, and it starts on Saturday.
“India have very good chances in the World Cup. India will have to play like a T20 team. There is enormous talent,” he said.
Ganguly also said India’s chances are “very good” in the T20 World Cup but the team should play with “freedom”.
“…play without fear and just keep hitting. There is enormous talent, (this is) a team which has (Virat) Kohli, Rohit (Sharma), Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), (Rishabh) Pant, (Shivam) Dubey, (Hardik) Pandya, (Ravindra) Jadeja, Axar (Patel), (Jasprit) Bumrah, Sanju (Samson),” he said when asked about India’s chances.
“That’s why I say everyone is capable of winning it for India and the only way they will do it is (if they) just play with freedom.
“Play with that extra batsman and hit from the first ball, hit till you have to defend (and) play like the last ball,” he added.
Ganguly supported Rohit and Kohli as the Indian opening duo.
“It is Virat and Rohit, both should open. Virat has been in tremendous touch in the IPL, he is a great player,” he said.
The former opener claimed that the drop-in pitches used in the USA World Cup leg, which were brought in from Adelaide, should be batting-friendly.
“I am very keen to see how the conditions are in the US. (The Nassau County Cricket Stadium is a) new ground, new stadium. I know there have been drop in pitches from Adelaide.
“The ICC has spent a lot of money to bring in the drop-in pitches to America,” he said.
“(The) drop-in pitches are normally very good, very batting friendly. And they don’t change much over a period of time because they are different from natural pitches. So we are expecting the pitches to be very good,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)


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