NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s head coach Gary Kirsten believes the team will be fully motivated for their upcoming clash against India in the T20 World Cup, despite suffering a humiliating defeat against co-hosts USA.
The match, set to take place at the Nassau County stadium in New York on Sunday, comes after Pakistan’s disappointing start to the tournament, which saw them lose to the USA in a Super Over thriller.
The pitch at the venue has proven to be challenging for batsmen, adding an extra layer of complexity to the highly anticipated encounter between the arch-rivals. As the finalists of the previous edition, Pakistan will be looking to bounce back from their opening setback and make a strong statement against India in this crucial match.
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“It’s a big game India (versus) Pakistan, there’s no need for me to motivate the team anymore. They are well-motivated, they are focused for this game,” Kirsten told the media on the eve of the match.
“We have to forget about the last couple of days and just move forward, that’s the only way you can deal with life. Results are results (and they) take care of themselves,” Pakistan’s limited-overs coach added.
India have been stationed in New York, participating in two matches, including a warmup game against Bangladesh. On the other hand, Pakistan will be making their debut in this tournament, as they have not played any games thus far in the city.
Kirsten refused to see it as an advantage to India. “We were 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,” he said.
“I’m not sure because I can’t predict what’s going to happen. I don’t know whether it’ll be an advantage,” he added.
Kirsten, the former coach of the Indian team during the 2011 World Cup, where India and Pakistan faced off in the semifinal at Mohali, expressed that the upcoming encounter on Sunday has a unique atmosphere surrounding it. The significance of this match differs from their previous World Cup meeting, according to Kirsten, who guided India to victory in that tournament.
“I think it is a little bit different because it’s not in India or Pakistan,” he said.
However, the South African coach acknowledged that he couldn’t provide any additional insights since he has observed the Indian players closely during his tenure as a mentor for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL.
“These players have seen enough of each other and how they play. In the end, we want to make sure that we get our game right looking at the conditions and what is required on the conditions because I think that’s going to be a big play,” he said.
Kirsten said Pakistan will need a team effort to challenge India.
“It’s never nice, not winning games for any player. They (Pakistan players) are trying their best. The important thing for us is that we operate genuinely as a team,” he said.
“Yes, we need individuals to make good performances. But playing games like this, (what is needed) is a real team effort. It’s a big game.”
“(What happened) two days ago is forgotten. We can’t take it back. It’s gone, so we move on,” he added.
While admitting that pace bowling is Pakistan’s strength heading into a game to be played on a pitch where run-making has remained a challenge, Kirsten said he wanted all bases covered.
“It certainly is a strength of ours. We like to look at the balance of our team, it’s important that you cover all the bases, we want to make sure we’ve got spin options, good seam options and a deep batting line-up,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)

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