India loses because of the pressure they get from their own media: Shoaib Akhtar
Team India will lock horns with Pakistan in their campaign opener at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, on September 2.
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Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar opened up on the type of pressure dealt by team India from their media ahead of the high-voltage clash between the arch-rivals in the Asia Cup 2023. Notably, team India will lock horns with Pakistan in their campaign opener of the continental tournament at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, on September 2.
Ahead of the fixture, former pacer Akhtar made a rather blunt assessment on the Indian media for building up ‘unnecessary’ pressure on their national team. He further recalled an incident prior to the Asia Cup 2022 Super Four match between the rivals, wherein the media played quite a role in hyping the game which costed them dearly in the contest.
“Most of the times India does not lose because they lack talent, they lose because of the kind of pressure they get from their own media. And I always say this to Indian media to give the team some respect and cut them some slack. Why is there a need to build up so much pressure, I understand this because we’re insiders but ultimately this is the wrong thing to do,” Shoaib Akhtar told on RevSportz.
“The last year I was in Dubai, I was doing a show for the Indian local channels, they painted everything blue, they bought the stadium. Also, they were talking about one thing – ‘team India will crush Pakistan’. Who builds this much pressure? When you make us the underdog, we (Pakistan) got nothing to lose because there is no pressure at all. So, what we’ll do is we’ll go out there and win,” he added.
Notably, Pakistan emerged victorious against the Men in Blue in the Super Four of the Asia Cup 2022, winning by five wickets at the Dubai International Stadium. In the ongoing Asia Cup, Pakistan outrightly dominated Nepal in the curtain raiser by 238 runs to win the contest.
Also see: Most Runs in Asia Cup 2023
Meanwhile, team India will look to commence their campaign with a win against Babar Azam’s Pakistan in Saturday’s blockbuster. However, another win for Pakistan would help them cement their spot in the Super Four of the ACC event.