12/05/2022
India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is looking forward to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 opening game against arch-rivals Pakistan, saying it is always special playing against them because of the hype involved in the rivalry between the two teams. Team India will take on Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Team India will take on Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in what will be the mother of all battles in the showpiece event.

Talking about the experience of playing arch-rivals Pakistan, Pant was quoted by the T20 World Cup site as saying: “It’s always special playing against Pakistan because there is a special hype around that match as always.

“There are so much emotions involved, not only for us but the fans and everyone. It’s a different kind of feeling, a different kind of ambience when you go on to the field and when you take on the field, you see people cheering here and there. “It’s a different atmosphere and when we were singing our national anthem, I actually get goosebumps,” the glovesman added further.

The 25-year-old Delhi cricketer also believes that former skipper Virat Kohli’s experience helps him and other teammates deal with the pressure situation better. Ahead of the marquee Pakistan clash, the left-handed batter also wishes to rekindle his batting partnership with Kohli.

Pant said, “He (Kohli) can actually teach you how to go through situations, which might help you in your cricket journey going forward, so it is nice batting with him as always.”

“It’s good to have someone with a lot of experience batting with you because he can take you through how to take the game on and how to maintain that run-a-ball pressure kind of thing.”

India had lost against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup last year after Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam successfully chased down 151/7 without a loss for a comprehensive 10-wicket triumph. The wicketkeeper had shared a stand of 53 runs with the then-skipper Kohli on way to his quickfire 39 but lost his wicket at a crucial juncture.

“I fondly remember that I smacked Hasan Ali for two sixes in the same over. We were just trying to get the run rate up because we lost early wickets and we staged a partnership – me and Virat. “We were increasing the run rate and I smacked him for two sixes with one hand… my special shot,” he added further.