File photo of Sourav Ganguly
India and Pakistan are set for some enthralling cricketing battles on the 22-yard strip, with the two Asian giants set to face each other on multiple occasions in the coming months. With three matches in the Asia Cup likely, India and Pakistan are also scheduled to clash in the ODI World Cup next month. Sourav Ganguly, former India skipper, doesn’t agree with certain players’ suggestion that it is ‘just another game’, and wants Rohit Sharma‘s men to be fully prepared. While Paksitan do have a top team, Ganguly doesn’t feel playing India in Ahmedabad on the World Cup stage will be as easy for them as it seems.
“It is a huge game. Always was and always will be. You have realised how important it is in the context of the World Cup. I used to treat it very much like an India Australia, India South Africa contest. I used to get into the mindset that it is still the red ball or the white ball you are up against and prepare myself like that. You can’t let the occasion get to you because that’s when you tend to lose focus,” Ganguly said in a chat on RevSportz.
“No its not just another game. You have to prepare yourself that way. That’s how you manage pressure. Some manage and some don’t manage. In my tenure we had a great record against Pakistan but this time round it will be a more competitive game. Last year after Pakistan beat India in Dubai things have changed. Pakistan is also a very good side and it is amazing how they keep churning out extraordinary talent. But playing India in India, playing India in Ahmedabad and playing India in front of 110,000 fans is very different thing,” he explained.
Ganguly also explained his earlier statement, suggesting India will not win all the finals. The former BCCI president said that the team needs to focus on small milestones first. To win a final, first they have to reach one.
“Saying that India will not always win finals, he went on to say, ‘You won’t win all finals’. But then you need to make it to the final first. So you need to break things down. First you need to play well and win the majority of the nine games to be able to make the final. Don’t think about the final at the start of the tournament. It is much like batting. When you go into bat don’t think of the 100. Get to 50, 60, 70 and then when you get to 90 that’s when you think of the 100. For the World Cup it is the same. First play well and get to the final. Once you are there that’s when you plan for the final and try and win it,” Dada explained.
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