T20 World Cup 2021: Gautam Gambhir outlines the importance of facing Pakistan early in the tournament

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Team India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. The Men In Blue boast an impeccable record over Pakistan in World Cups, they currently hold a 5-0 record over their counterparts in the global showcase of the global event. 

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels that it is beneficial that India are getting the match against Pakistan early out of the way. He added that that the players won’t be too hung up mentally over the match and can shift their focus to the other matches in the Super 12s stage.

“In 2007 as well, when we went out to win the World Cup, our first game was against Scotland, which was washed out, but then practically, our first game was against Pakistan. And that is exactly what I mentioned it is important to play Pakistan in the early stages of the tournament because what happens is — you don’t want to keep thinking about Pakistan — you can finish it off initially and concentrate on the entire tournament, and it is exactly the same for the fans and the country as well,” Gambhir said on Star Sports

Team India had begun and ended their historic 2007 T20 World Cup campaign with fixtures against Pakistan. The Men In Blue emerged victorious on both occasions to etch their name in history books.

They have been drawn alongside Afghanistan and New Zealand in the Super 12s stage. And they will be joined by two more members in the group following the culmination of the qualification stages.

“Irrespective of what the result is, I am really happy for both the countries that they are going to play against each other in the initial stages.”

The Men In Blue are one of the favourites heading into the tournaments and are ranked number two in the ICC T20 Rankings. The Virat Kohli-led team will hope to claim the nation’s second ever T20 World Cup following a series of near misses.

India fell to West Indies at home in the semi-finals during the previous edition. In 2014, they fell to Sri Lanka in the finals of the competition.

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