India should focus on winning Asia Cup: Ganguly

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Following their short assignment in Zimbabwe for an ODI series, the Indian team will head to the UAE for the Asia Cup 2022, which returns after a gap of four years. The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side will be up against their arch-nemesis Pakistan in the opener at the Dubai International Stadium on 28 August.

Reacting to razzmatazz around the blockbuster tie, BCCI President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, in conversation with India Today, played down the hype and opined that the Pakistan tie is just another match and that the focus remains on the Asia Cup title.

“I am seeing it as the Asia Cup. I do not see any tournament as India vs Pakistan. In my playing days, India vs Pakistan was just another match for me. I always looked to win the tournament. India are a good team and they have done very well in recent times, and hopefully, they will give a good performance in the Asia Cup as well,” he said.

India will take on Pakistan for the first time since their heartbreaking 10-wicket loss at the same venue in their 2021 T20 World Cup opener. It was the first time ever that India lost a World Cup tie to their arch rivals. Less than a year later, and two months before their scheduled meeting in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, the Asia Cup defending champions will be up against Babar Azam’s men yet again, hoping to avenge their defeat in Dubai.

Overall, India, the seven-time champions, have faced Pakistan 14 times in the Asia Cup, winning eight matches and losing five. Five of those wins have come in India’s six meetings with Pakistan in the Asia Cup since 2010. The last time India lost was in 2014 in Mirpur.

(Agencies)