‘Players playing cricket but…’: Mohammad Rizwan honest take on epic IND vs PAK rivalry in lead-up to Asia Cup


Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan knows how India-Pakistan matches are played in showpiece events. The blockbuster contest between the arch-rivals can bring nations to a standstill. Rizwan, who played a stellar knock against India at the T20 World Cup 2021, has been a consistent performer for the Green Army in high-profile encounters. As Rizwan had earlier put it, the upcoming India versus Pakistan encounter in the Asia Cup 2023 will come down to players holding their nerves under pressure.

Rizwan had played a stellar knock against India at the T20 World Cup 2021(AFP)

The Pakistani gloveman is heading to the Asia Cup after inspiring Babar Azam and Co. to a moral-boosting series win over Afghanistan. Rizwan scored a brilliant 67 off 79 balls in the third and final One Day International (ODI) of the bilateral series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka. Half-centuries from Rizwan and captain Babar sealed Pakistan’s 59-run win over Afghanistan at the R.Premadasa Stadium.

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‘We both have our strengths and weaknesses’

Co-hosting the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan will meet bitter rivals India in its second group game of the tournament. Speaking to Star Sports in the lead-up to the continental tournament last year, Rizwan had opened up about the epic Indo-Pak rivalry. “Our team is good, so is theirs. We both have our strengths and weaknesses as a side. It is a pressure match to be watched by the entire world. The way to differentiate between a star and a regular player is experience,” Rizwan said.

India vs Pakistan: Where the battle will be won

Rizwan-starrer Pakistan side will enter the Asia Cup 2023 as the No.1 team in the world. Pakistan replaced Australia as the top-ranked side in the ODI rankings after hammering Afghanistan 3-0 in its previous white-ball assignment.”Both players are playing cricket, but this experience gives the team a benefit as they can handle pressure better. Obviously, the team that handles the pressure better will get a favourable result,” Rizwan had said.

Rizwan had finished the Asia Cup 2022 ahead of Virat Kohli – India’s leading run-getter in the continental tournament last year. Rizwan amassed 281 runs in 6 matches of the Asia Cup in 2022. Rizwan-starrer Pakistan side was upstaged by Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final last year.


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