Ahead of much much-awaited Pakistan vs India clash, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has admitted that the Green Shirts are playing well as a unit and it will be an interesting match.
Sharma made the observation during a press conference a day before the encounter against Pakistan on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Sharma, 36, had nothing but respect for the arch-rivals. He appreciated how much Green Shirts have improved over the years.
“Pakistan’s team is very good, they have improved very well in the past few years, whether it is T20I or 50 overs,” Sharma said. “No team becomes number without any reason, they have worked hard and they are playing well as a unit, it will be interesting to play them. We will play our best, we have prepared well, let’s see how it goes.”
When asked about how the Indian batters are practising in the training camp to tackle the Pakistani pace trio, “The Hitman” gave a sarcastic reply but he could not stop himself from praising the pace factory.
“Look, we don’t have Shaheen, Naseem, or Haris in the nets, we practice with our own bowlers.
“They [Pakistani trio] are all quality bowlers, there is no doubt about that. Pakistan have always had quality bowlers.
“We have seen where they ball, what lengths they use, we will just try to tackle them with our experience.”
The 36-year-old also talked about what kind of cricket he and the team will have to play if they are to beat the number one ODI team in the world.
“We need to use our experience, I’ll have to see what kind of cricket our team needs. In the last two years, I have played in a different way, more like risky cricket, but I need to change my approach. As a top-order batter, I know how important it is for me to play a long inning and I need to bring balance to my game.
“We have short-term goals, as of now all we are focusing on is the game against Pakistan.”
India have the upper hand against Pakistan with seven wins in 13 Asia Cup (ODI) matches. Meanwhile, Pakistan have won five with one match ending in no result.
Men in Green have also lost four of the last five matches against India in the Asia Cup, with their last win coming in Mirpur in 2014. It was the same match where Shahid Afridi hit two consecutive sixes against Ravichandran Ashwin in the last over to get Pakistan over the line.