T20 World Cup: Would be great if India makes it to final with Pakistan, says Saqlain

Dubai: Pakistan’s interim head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq would love it if his team got the opportunity to face India again in the final of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Pakistan started their World Cup campaign with a thumping 10-wicket victory over arch-rivals India and then followed it by the resounding win against New Zealand by five-wicket. Men in Green are currently unbeaten, with a perfect two in two record at the showpiece.

“When you come with a mindset to become a world champion then you don’t think about the opponent,” Saqlain said in a virtual press conference on Thursday. “You rather think whoever comes in, you do what you have to do and want to do. So we are thinking on the same lines day in and day out that whoever is against us in the next stage we will accept it. If you want to become a world champion then you have to live up to the requirements — being tough, being well-prepared, and playing cricket different from the others, and it shows that you are a genuine World Cup winner. If you want to be a world champion then you should be thoroughly [tested] so that the world actually recognises you.”

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“If India makes it to the final with us, it would be a great thing because I feel — and this is not because we became big-headed after beating them — but because they are a strong team, everyone considers them a favourite. England and Australia always play tough cricket too. One doesn’t have results in their hand but what we have in hand is our process, how we plan, our commitment, how we fight and bounce back and things we can control so we don’t focus on results and the opponent. If India comes in the final, then it would be very good for the ICC, fans around the world and for world cricket — everyone will enjoy it. They are our neighbouring country and playing one more match would only improve our relations,” he pointed.

“Hats off to Dhoni, Virat, Babar, Malik, Dahani, Rizwan, Imad, Hafeez — their picture of hugging and meeting each other after the Pak-India game has sent a strong message to the world about love,” the head coach of Pakistan added.

Pakistan next face Afghanistan on Friday, followed by matches against Associate teams Namibia and Scotland. In their opener, Afghanistan had demolished Scotland to give themselves a considerable net run rate boost and sit just under their neighbours on the points table.

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