May 24, 2024

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“This is a golden opportunity for us to become heroes.”

There was no trace of anxiety during Babar Azam’s Friday news conference as he joked and grinned his way through it.


On Saturday, Pakistan’s greatest foe, India, will be the team’s opponent. The skipper will lead his squad out.


Babar has performed this in front of 132,000 people previously, but never at the biggest cricket stadium in the world.


“The fans and the whole of Pakistan-India are waiting for this match,” Babar stated. “We are also very excited.”


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The two nations, which together have a population of more than 1.5 billion, come to a stop because of this fixture. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will be the center of attention on Saturday for the whole cricketing community.


The World Cup is prepared for takeoff after a somewhat meandering opening nine days.


The ongoing political tensions between the two countries will be present throughout this most recent summit.


Pakistan and India have only met since 2013 in ICC international competitions like the World Cup or in Asia Cup games at neutral sites.




India declined to go to Pakistan for the Asia Cup last month, choosing to play their games in Sri Lanka instead.


Due to the tensions, there won’t be many Pakistani supporters in Ahmedabad for the match on Saturday.


At Babar’s press conference, one Pakistani journalist was present.


Pakistan, however, is attempting to ignore the figure that troubles them the most despite the fact that the tide is firmly against them.


India has been their opponent seven times during the 50-over World Cup. All seven matches have been won by the hosts on Saturday, including the 2011 semifinal in Mohali, which India ultimately won.


I don’t dwell on the past, Babar added. I make an effort to think forward. Such records are designed to be broken, and I attempt to do so.


India, on the other hand, is the clear tournament favorite. After overcoming a hiccup to defeat Australia in their initial match, they easily defeated Afghanistan on Wednesday.


After easily defeating the Netherlands in their opening match, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka to set a World Cup record.


The awaiting fans, according to India captain Rohit Sharma, won’t put additional pressure on his team in such a high-profile match.


“I don’t think there is any disadvantage,” Rohit replied. “You enjoy performing for your local audience.


“No matter what the game’s condition, they support you. My entire playing experience has been that we receive enormous support, not just in India but also outside of India.


“I have so far never experienced where the crowd has gone against us.”


On Friday, with anticipation building in the streets outside the arena, both sides trained in the presence of security personnel.


Shubman Gill, who started for India but was out for their first two games due to sickness, gave them a boost. Gil is “99%” accessible, according to Rohit.


As cricket’s greatest rivals get ready for their biggest night, the potential return of Gill, who has struck four one-day international hundreds this year, including a double ton, only makes Pakistan’s task more difficult.


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