While India and Pakistan bilateral series have become a thing of the past due to the ongoing political scenario, both the teams now only lock horns mostly in ICC tournaments or multi-national tournaments.
The Men in Blue, however, still leads the head-to-head tally against their neighbours across formats and events. But Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Ramiz Raja, believes that the recent success of Pakistan over India implies the tricolour taking their opponents more seriously as a team. Raja, hence wants critics to credit the Babar Azam-led side for having the edge over a “billion-dollar team”.
Pakistan has dominated India in the last 12 months
Till last October, India were undefeated against Pakistan in World Cup meetings, winning all 12 matches – seven in ODIs and five in T20Is. However, in the three encounters across the last 12 months, Pakistan has won twice – once in the 2021 T20 World Cup opener and the other in the 2022 Asia Cup.
Speaking to Pakistan daily Dawn, Ramiz opined that previously Pakistan were considered underdogs in World Cup matches against India, but with things changing, even the Men in Blue have started respecting Pakistan as a more serious cricketing side.
Ramiz Raja opines India vs Pakistan contests are majorly a mental challenge for the players
He said, “Skill aur talent se zyada mental match hota hain yeh. So agar aap temperamentally strong he and mentally focussed he aur haar manne ko taiyar nahi hain toh chhoti team bhi badi team ko hara sakti hain. And Pakistan humesha se underdogs rahein hain jab bhi India se muqabla huye hain, but of late, unhone hume respect dena shuru kardiya hain kyunki unke khayal me yeh hain ki Pakistan hume kabhi hara hi nehi sakte.”
“So yehi main kehta hu ki Pakistan ko credit dijiye kyunki ek billion-dollar team cricket industry ko hum harate he. Main toh khud World Cups khela hu, humlog toh India ko nehi hara paate the. Iss team ko credit dena chaiye kyunki limited resources, compared to India, se prepare karte he and tagda muqabla karte hain,” Ramiz Raja concluded.