Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has thrown his complete support behind national side by stating, Sarfraz Ahmed-led side must do basics right against India in their tournament opener of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, on Super Sunday.
Salman suggested that they should enjoy the game after looking at the head-to-head record against arch-rivals India in the ICC Champions Trophy tournament.
“They [Men in Green] should not take any kind of pressure. Instead, they should just enjoy the game and play like they normally do,” Salman told Express Tribune.
The 32-year-old Salman feels there would be an added pressure, as it would grab the attention of millions of eyeballs, as he further urged the team to give their best while stating the nation is in all support for the national team.
“There is of course added pressure since the entire world is watching but they must know that all of Pakistan is behind them,” Salman remarked.
The left-handed batsman Salman, who has had enjoyed his batting against India in the past revealed players do get carried away in the heat of a moment.
“The pressure in the game against India always makes players lose their concentration,” Salman asserted.
Salman has further opined if Pakistan would eke out a win against formidable India, there are good chances of them making it to the much-awaited semi-finals in the short event adding a game against the Proteas would be ‘tough’ one.
“If they manage to get a good start by winning against India, then that will boost them mentally for their next matches,” Salman further said.
Salman revealed it’s the pressure that makes things pretty difficult during the high-octane games between the two neighbouring countries while praising Sarfraz for being aggressive and active with the bat and in the field as well.
“He gets really involved in the game, which is good to see,” he said. “It is always a test of the captain in pressure matches against India but I think the whole team is with Sarfraz,” Salman said on Sarfraz, who will be leading his side for the first time in ICC Champions Trophy.
Having the experience of playing against India, Salman went on to say that the mixture of youth and experience would play a crucial role at the neutral venue.
“We have number of experienced players who can guide the team to a good position during the match, while the juniors have a golden opportunity to perform against India and make a good impression in the cricketing world,” Salman further added.
Salman reiterated Virat Kohli-led side is complacent one in terms of an experience, as they have emerged as best of the outfit throughout the years.
“India have the more experienced side but Pakistan has always gone with a combination of senior and junior players; that seems to work for them in difficult situations,” Salman added.
Interestingly, the Lahore-born batsman, who was jailed after Lord’s infamous Test in 2010, has registered five hundreds for Pakistan after playing 21 games against India.
After making his international debut in 2003, Salman had featured in 78 One-day Internationals in which he has amassed 2,725 runs at an average of 36.82. He has also eight centuries and 14 half-centuries to his name in the 50-over format.
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June 3, 2017 at 11:33AM