‘Pakistan are a very good side, you have to…’ – Former coach Ravi Shastri to India ahead of IND vs PAK clash


Ravi Shastri, Hardik Pandya and Haris Rauf
Image Source : GETTY Ravi Shastri, Hardik Pandya and Haris Rauf

India’s much-anticipated clash against Pakistan will unfold at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on September 2. Rohit Sharma’s Indian team kickstarts its campaign in the Asia Cup 2023 and has to face Babar Azam’s Pakistan in the first game. The two teams have played close contests in the past few games and the T20 World Cup 2022 between the two was a match for the ages that Rohit Sharma’s men won.

Ahead of the clash between the two rivals, former head coach Ravi Shastri shared advice to the Indian team. He called India favorites but then also highlighted Pakistan for narrowing the gap between the two teams. “I would say India start as favourites. This is their strongest team since 2011, this mix of players. And a captain who is seasoned, who understands the terrain better than most,’ Shastri told ESPN Cricinfo on Friday.

He then added that the Indian team needs to stay on top of its game if they have to beat Pakistan. “Having said that, Pakistan have narrowed the gap. Seven-eight years (ago), there was a gap if you looked at the strength of both teams and man-to-man. But Pakistan have narrowed it down. They are a very good side, so you have to be on top of your game,” he added.

Shastri stated that it is important to stay calm in matches like these and not over-hype the pressure of the India vs Pakistan game. “That’s what’s important, keeping calm and treating it as just another game. And not over-hype it in your mind that makes you think differently. Your game has to be the same as it would be in any other game. But because of that subconscious pressure, it’s the mentally tough guys who normally get it right,” he said.

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