'Lose even to Kenya but not to Pakistan' - Anil Kumble on pressure of India-Pakistan clash

"In our times, the word was lose even to Kenya but not to Pakistan... that's how the matches between India and Pakistan are being played and the key is to treat it as just another match," said Kumble.

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Anil Kumble.
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Anil Kumble. (Photo: Twitter)

Anil Kumble, who holds some surreal records against Pakistan, has shed light on the implications of playing against the Asian rivals and what it means to the fans. The former Indian leg-spinner stressed the importance of treating the match against Pakistan like just any other match.

Notably, the last bilateral series between India and Pakistan was played back in the 2012-2013 season. Since then, the two Asian giants have only met in ICC events or in the Asia Cup. This year, there is a possibility of the two teams clashing on multiple occasions.

The first meeting between India and Pakistan in 2023 will be in the Asia Cup on September 2 and the two teams might meet each again if they progress ahead. The two arch-rivals will also meet in the impending ODI World Cup, on October 14 in Ahmedabad.

"In our times, the word was 'lose even to Kenya but not to Pakistan'. There was pressure and expectation on the players. That's how the matches between India and Pakistan are being played and the key is to treat it as just another match," Kumble said at the the launch of Pitchside, the memoir written by experienced cricket administrator Amrit Mathur.

'Didn't go onto the field thinking of that' - Anil Kumble recalls famous 10-wicket haul

Kumble created history against Pakistan in 1999 in Delhi when he became the first Indian bowler and second in cricket history to take 10 wickets in a single Test innings. The former India captain and head coach stated that he wasn't thinking about the 10-for when he stepped onto the field.

"I did not go onto the field thinking of a 10-wicket haul, though that is the dream of any bowler. However, in the next Test match against Pakistan, the Asian Test Championship at Kolkata, I was struggling to take even one wicket. That is the game of cricket for you," the 52-year-old said.

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