Ravi Shastri believes that India have a slight advantage over Pakistan in Saturday’s Asia Cup match in Pallekele.
Shastri told ESPNcricinfo on the eve of the match that Pakistan are a vastly improved team that has “narrowed the gap” with India.
However, the dominance of India’s lineup and the presence of an experienced captain in Rohit Sharma gave India the advantage.
“I’d say India starts as the frontrunner. This group of athletes is their greatest since 2011, according to Shastri. “And an experienced captain who comprehends the terrain better than most.
“Despite this, Pakistan have closed the gap.” Seven-eight years ago, there was a disparity between the two teams’ individual strength. Pakistan, however, have narrowed it down. They are a formidable opponent, so you must be at your best.”
Shastri believes that when it comes to a high-pressure, high-stakes match like India versus Pakistan, player form is less significant than player temperament.
“That’s the key,” he said, “staying calm and treating it like another game.” “And do not exaggerate it in your mind, which will cause you to think otherwise.
Your game must be identical to that of any other game. However, due to this subconscious pressure, it is typically the mentally strong males who succeed.
“The combination of talent on both teams is outstanding. It will also be a spectacle. In a match between India and Pakistan, it comes down to who manages pressure best, who is more composed, and who has clearer thoughts. Those are the men who will succeed in these crucial situations.
“And never go by form before an India-Pakistan game, because the tough-minded, mentally strong players may not have accomplished much in the previous six months, but come the India-Pakistan game, they will come to the fore.” They are aware of the significance of this game and where it can propel them if they perform well. Their enthusiasm will be aroused.”
Shastri: You Must Capitalize On Early Opportunities Like Babar Does
Shastri believes that all batsmen who want to triumph in pressure situations should adopt Babar Azam’s strategy.
Babar, the captain of Pakistan, scored his 19th ODI century in the Asia Cup’s inaugural match against Nepal, and Shastri believes other batsmen should follow his example.
“He [Babar] converts those 30s and 40s starts into hundreds,” Shastri remarked. “And it is so crucial. We keep stating, “Go out there and confront a number of balls, but if one of your top three players scores a hundred, you receive over 300 points.
Fielding will also be essential; it will be necessary to determine which team fields better. The previous Asia Cup was won by Sri Lanka because of their fielding. Since 1996, they have been the finest fielding team in the subcontinent.
They excelled in the previous Asia Cup. They are holders, so do not underestimate them in Sri Lankan conditions. If India’s fielding elevates the benchmark, they will be an even more formidable team.”