India-Pakistan ties are always high-voltage clashes. And with no bilateral ties, the encounter between the arch-rivals is always an eagerly waited one. This year, the two sides will face off for the third time, when they face off during the 2022 T20 World Cup. India is set to take on Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.
Currently, Pakistan is hosting England, and after winning the fifth T20I of the seven-match series on Wednesday, Rauf opened up about facing India at the World Cup. With the six-run win over England, Pakistan currently hold a 3-2 lead over the visitors.
Rauf, who plays for Melbourne Stars in BBL, said India will have their task cut out at MCG. “If I give my best, they won’t be able to play me easily. For the upcoming World Cup match, I’m very happy because it is at the Melbourne Cricket Ground,” said Rauf.
“It is my home ground because I play for the Melbourne Stars, and I have an idea of how the conditions play out there. I’ve already started planning on how I would bowl against India,” he added.
Unlike in the past, Pakistan and India matches in recent times have gone down to the wire. In the recently concluded Asia Cup, they faced off twice, with both teams registering one win. As both matches went down to the wire, Pakistan won their Super 4 encounter. In last year’s World Cup in the UAE, Pakistan had handed their neighbours a 10 wicket defeat, clinching their first win over India in a world tournament.
In their first Asia Cup opener, the 28-year-old Rauf fed the Indian batters with short-pitch deliveries as he returned wicketless as Pakistan lost the opener. But in the Super 4 stage, he accounted for the key wicket of India skipper Rohit Sharma, as Pakistan eked out a thrilling win over India.
In the ongoing series against England, Rauf’s form has been a big positive as he leads the tally with eight wickets from five games. With the T20 World Cup just around the corner, Rauf sounded confident on delivering in another high-voltage clash against India.
“The match between India and Pakistan is always a high-pressure game. In the World Cup last year, I was feeling so much pressure. But in the past two matches in the Asia Cup, I didn’t feel much of it because I knew I just had to give my best,” Rauf signed off.