LONDON: High-voltage action is expected in a Champions Trophy group B match in Edgbaston, when Pakistan and India clash today.
It should be mentioned here that India was the first team to qualify for the semifinals; while, Pakistan is the first team eliminated from semifinal contention.
Though today’s faceoff will not affect the overall result in the tournament, but the sporting contests between the arch-rivals are never irrelevant for players and millions of fans across the globe as heroes turn villains – or vice-versa – depending on the result.
Indians will hit the ground to smoothen rough edges ahead of the semifinals; in contrast, Pakistan will play for pride hoping to build on the 2-1 series success in India in December-January.
“I don’t think the Indian team has ever played a dead game,” skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, referring to the huge fan following his side enjoys. “The match is also important to improve in the areas we want to.”
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore added, “It’s an important match. It’s certainly not a dead game for us and we will look to give our best.”
Despite the two defeats in group matches, Pakistan’s skipper Misbahul Haq insisted the team were still very motivated to perform well against India.
He asserted, “When a team plays the way we have, criticism is bound to come. Supporters are like that. They also praise you when you do well.”
“We must now play to our potential against India. We should not go back empty-handed.”