India-Pakistan rivalry bigger than Ashes: Ashwin

Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) Terming the India-Pakistan rivalry bigger than the Ashes, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday asserted that the hosts were more focused on performing well in the World T20 rather than pondering over their opponents.

“This rivalry is huge. It is hard to say how huge it is. It is probably bigger than Ashes. As far as Indians and Pakistanis go, it is more of a border rivalry. Both teams want to get one-up on each other,” Ashwin said on the eve of the high-voltage game at the Eden Gardens.

“There is so much to the game rather than the game taking the centre stage. As far as people are concerned they put their emotions in the game. As a player it is about keeping the emotions aside.”

Ashwin said the team is not unduly pressurised at the prospect of facing their old rivals.

“We don’t see much pressure. We are used to playing a lot of India-Pakistan games. Every game is a pressure for us. We are used to it and we can handle it so it is not about pressure. We have put ourselves in such a position. Now we need to win and need to focus on doing well than pondering over our opponents,” he said.

The tweaker also said that no spinner has an edge going into the game on Saturday but they need to play to their potential to win.

In Nagpur, India failed to chase down New Zealand 126/7 to lose by 47 runs.

“If we knew we would be all out for 79, we would have tried to get them out for a lesser score unfortunately we did not. Also credit goes to the New Zealand side in the way they bowled. But in tomorrow’s game nobody has an edge. Pakistan is upbeat after their win. We need to play to our potential and win,” he said.

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