Don’t think India will be under extra pressure vs Pakistan at 2019 World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar

first_imgFormer India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar has said India won’t feel any additional pressure during their marquee encounter against Pakistan at the 2019 Cricket World Cup despite the politically charged climate between the two neighbours. India are scheduled to meet their arch-rivals in Manchester on June 16.Gavaskar’s comments come after several members of the Indian cricket fraternity urged India to boycott the tie against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. 40 soldiers of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) lost their lives during a suicide attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.Media reports also suggested India wanted Pakistan to be kept out of the quadrennial showpiece event. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it has been learnt, has taken no stand on the issue.The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday assured the BCCI that if need arises, it will “uplift the security based on advice of relevant agencies” to address India’s concerns during the upcoming World Cup the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.With a lot more than just two points associated to what is expected to be the most-anticipated tie at the World Cup, players from both the teams are going to face a bit of heat in the lead up to the marquee clash.However, Gavaskar believes the players are professional enough to keep away the distractions and focus on the job in hand.Great teams ignore everything around them: GavaskaradvertisementSpeaking at India Today Conclave 2019, Gavaskar said: “I don’t think so [players will not feel additional pressure]. I think our players are professional enough to know this is a game of cricket that they need to win. They will not be swayed away by circumstances. I don’t think it will make a difference.”Great teams ignore everything around them, they focus on the game. As a batsman, you forget what has happened with the previous ball. You focus on the next ball, that’s the same with a team as well. Sure, going into the hotel, there are going to be guys saying things. But that’s going to be for other series as well,” the former captain added.Pray and hope cricket prevails: HaydenSharing the stage with Gavaskar, former Australia opener Matthew Hayden said at India Today Conclave that as an Australian, he wishes the World Cup is played with all the 10 member nations participating in it.Notably, in the upcoming World Cup, all 10 teams will have to meet the other nine in the single-legged round-robin group stage. The top four teams at the end of the group stages will qualify for the semi-final.”Cricket is a beautiful game. It’s a game that elevates and levitates above significant issues. So for me, I really pray and hope that cricket prevails. It has lasted depressions, wars, and anarchy. I am sure both governments will have to make important decisions. But from an Australian point of view, I pray there is full membership. It’s back to the 1992 format, it’s going to be round-robin. It’s going to be an exciting format,” Hayden said.Meanwhile, Michael Clarke, who was also part of the star-studded panel on Friday, said players will feel the emotions ahead of such big matches but insisted that the muscle memory will kick in once a player steps on the field.”I think there’s no doubt we feel the emotion of every person. Playing in a World Cup, or the Ashes or tour to India, my preparation was same for each and every game. But you feel the emotions ahead of major tournaments. There will be parts of that when India does play Pakistan,” Clarke said.”I agree that cricket is still a game, the players will, as much as they read the media and watch the news, feel the nerves. But as soon as they take the field, muscle memory takes over. A batsman will see the ball, a bowler will be focused on bowling the next delivery and the fielder will watch the ball. No matter, how emotional it is, you quickly shift focus to what you want to do.”Also Read | Mithali Raj ready to give 2021 Women’s World Cup a shotAlso Read | ndia Today Conclave 2019: Sunil Gavaskar predicts India vs England World Cup finalAlso Read | Playing to win series vs Aus or else I’ll leave the ball to hit the stumps: Virat KohliAlso See:last_img read more