“Players are well motivated, focused; had to forget about loss to US”: Pakistan coach Kirsten ahead of India clash

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By Mahtab Ahmad

New York [US], : Ahead of his side’s clash against arch-rivals India in the ICC T20 World Cup, Pakistan white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten said that the team is motivated and focused despite a heartbreaking loss to World Cup debutants USA in their last fixture and added that the wicket in Nassau County Stadium in New York is favourable for the bowlers.

"Players are well motivated, focused; had to forget about loss to US": Pakistan coach Kirsten ahead of India clash
“Players are well motivated, focused; had to forget about loss to US”: Pakistan coach Kirsten ahead of India clash

At the Nassau County International Stadium on Sunday, it will be a ‘Super Sunday’ as arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be clashing in their highly anticipated ICC T20 World Cup clash, with plenty of sports superstars in action. Having secured a comprehensive win against Ireland by eight wickets, India will be riding high on confidence and plenty of winning momentum. However, Pakistan on the other hand will be aiming to overcome the blues from defeat to co-hosts and World Cup debutants USA by defeating their biggest rival in the sport.

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Speaking ahead of the game in a pre-match press conference, Kirsten said, “Yeah, I do not like to harp on history too much . We need to make sure we play the best cricket we can now. So tomorrow we are going to go out there and make sure we do the best that we can with our skill sets and how we can put pressure on the opposition. I mean that is what we would want to do every game. That is certainly how we would plan for every game. So, it’s really up to us to get ourselves up for the game.”

“It is a big game, India-Pakistan, we know there is no need for me to motivate the team anymore. They are well motivated, they are focused on this game. We have had to forget about the last couple of days and just move forward. That is the only way you can deal with life. Results are results, they take care of themselves. But the way we arrive at a match and pitch up and give it our best shot and make sure that our skills are up to where they need to be, that’s all we can control,” he added.

Speaking about the wicket at New York, which has so far seen low-scoring games and where run-making has proven to be a chore, Kirsten said, “I think it’s just favourable for bowlers, full stop. Doesn’t matter which team. For us, the batters are going to have to play with some courage in any team. Play with real courage, assess the conditions, assess what a good score could be on this wicket if we bat first, and then try to plan as the game unfolds to make sure we do what we can to get a competitive total. Bat first and bat second will be dictated by how we bowl.”

Though Kirsten admitted that its pace battery of Mohammed Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah is its strength, it is important that the team keeps all its bases covered.

“So, we want to make sure we have got spin options good seam options and a deep batting lineup and I think most teams are trying to do that so however that stacks up, that is what we aim for,” he added.

On being a part of the frenzy of India-Pakistan cricket as a coach of both teams , Kirsten said that the frenzy and hype around the clash feel the same and great. He added that it is a privilege for him to be a part of such games.

“Cricket does not get bigger than this. So, it is fun to be a part of. I think it is going to be a great occasion tomorrow. First kind of India-Pakistan game in America. It has been great being here in America on tour. I think it is one of the privileges of being involved in cricket for all of us, is that we get to travel the world in the name of cricket and see different places. So that’ll be fun and a great occasion,” he added.

On giving any inside information to Pakistan about Indian players, Kirsten said that both sides have seen enough of each other and how they play.

“In the end, we want to make sure that we get our game right. Look at the conditions and what is required on the conditions because I think that is going to be a big play for tomorrow,” he added.

Kirsten also said that the management has not finalised the team yet because they are waiting on a few players fitness-wise.

On playing at New York’s stadium for the first time ever, unlike India, who has played two games here, Kirsten said that he cannot predict what is going to happen.

“I do not know whether it will be an advantage. Do you know? Will it be an advantage? Does that mean that because you have played more cricket here it is an advantage? Well, I do not know the answer. I do not know if it is an advantage,” he added.

India Squad: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yashasvi Jaiswal

Pakistan Squad: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Abrar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, Abbas Afridi.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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