UAE: Known to wear his heart on his sleeves, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly entered the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday for the game between India and Pakistan wearing the Team India jersey.
All roads lead to the stadium on Sunday as fans had to wait more than two years to see the two teams on the cricket pitch. The last time they played was in the 2019 World Cup in England.
While both teams have looked to keep calm, the fans have made their emotions clear. At the toss, India skipper Virat Kohli said that everyone in the world watches the match between India and Pakistan and this can prove as motivation for the Men in Blue.
Pakistan won the toss against India and opted to field first. “We are pretty happy with setting the target. We would have bowled first too, but the toss is not in your control. We are pretty balanced with our squad and you need to be prepared for it. We need to stay as professional as possible. We need to stay focused on the processes. Everyone watches it closely all over the world,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports during the toss.“We can use that as a motivation, but we need to ensure we don’t get too emotional and need to just stay professional.
The pitch looks very different. Evenly rolled and there is no grass at all which was the case during the IPL, and I’m sure that was done to hold it together well for the World Cup. We expect the pitch to stay good all through and set a good total,” he added.
Speaking at the toss, Pakistan captain Babar Azam said, “We are going to bowl first. We’ll look to take early wickets and put pressure. Dew is also a factor. We have had good practice sessions and are confident about our preparations. Pakistan’s bowlers are known to trouble other teams but I am confident about our batting too. Haider Ali is left out.”