India start their 2022 T20 World Cup as they did in the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup last year – with a much anticipated match against arch-rivals Pakistan. While the three matches that took place in the last one year all happened in Dubai, the opening match for the two teams in the T20 World Cup this year will happen at the cavernous Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is expected to be packed to the rafters with fans.
India were dealt a shock in the opening match of last year’s tournament, when they fell to a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan and were eventually dumped out of the T20 World Cup in the Super 12 stage. It was the first time that Pakistan had beaten India in any World Cup match and it was as comprehensive as it gets. In the recently concluded Asia Cup, both teams played two high octane matches, with India winning one and Pakistan winning the second. Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel feels that Pakistan’s recent success, particularly in the 2021 T20 World Cup match, gives Rohit Sharma’s side a different kind of challenge.
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“It is very important to start a tournament on a high. These are not long tournaments. In the 50-over World Cup, there is still time to make up for one defeat,” said Parthiv on Cricbuzz. “But in the T20 World Cup you lose one and you start doubting your whole method and everything comes into play. The chances of coming back in the tournament becomes very less. We talk about teams coming back in the IPL and that is because they are playing about 14 games. Here we have to beat at least one of Pakistan or South Africa.
“It is the same for Pakistan as well. They will come out with a different mindset. They were not expecting to beat India by 10 wickets in the last World Cup. Now that they have beaten India once in the Asia Cup and before that in the T20 World Cup, they would be thinking differently. They would be thinking that they can beat this side. Before that they had no chance of beating India in World Cup games for a long time. So that will be a different challenge for India,” he said. India will face Pakistan on October 23.
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