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'You can take nothing for granted': Gayle on India-Pak clash

1 week ago 100

NEW DELHI:

Chris Gayle

, the renowned West Indies power-hitter, emphasized the urgency for Pakistan to bounce back after their unexpected loss against the USA, co-hosts of the

T20 World Cup

. The defeat has heightened the significance of their upcoming encounter with India on Sunday, particularly for the team that clinched the title in 2009.
The eagerly awaited Group A showdown between the two cricketing giants, India and Pakistan, is set to unfold at the

Nassau County International Cricket Stadium

on Sunday.
Pakistan find themselves under considerable strain as they head into this crucial match, following their astonishing defeat at the hands of the USA through a Super Over. The loss occurred during their tournament opener at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas earlier in the week.
T20 World Cup: Points Table | Schedule
"As for Pakistan, they have no time to waste. They have to re-group for the biggest game of the tournament against India in New York City – that's just got even bigger. Their backs are up against the wall and coming off a loss like that straight into playing a team like India, who traditionally have the upper hand in these games, is a huge challenge."
"India are in the driver's seat, definitely a more relaxed seat, but this is India versus Pakistan at a World Cup, so you can take nothing for granted," wrote Gayle in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Gayle also praised the USA team, which currently leads Group A's points table after victories against Canada and Pakistan. "Like the rest of the cricketing world, I was gripped by the USA's victory over Pakistan. It is a huge result which is not only incredible for them but massive for cricket as a whole."
"You always expect a few upsets at World Cups and having started well by beating Canada, USA put Pakistan under the pump for pretty much the whole game. The atmosphere in Texas looked great and I think it marks the day the World Cup really started."
"USA look very well organised and the way they stood up to that Pakistan attack, one of the best bowling units at the World Cup, you have to give huge kudos to them. They will now look to cash in on this result and they can absolutely reach the Super 8s – what a story that would be."
Gayle also lavished praise on the talent in the USA team. "Aaron Jones looks right at home on the big stage. For cricket to grow in any country, you need a hero and he is the USA hero. He scored 90-odd against Canada to see them home and now this in the Super Over – what an ICC Men's T20 World Cup he has had already."
"Andries Gous is also a very, very good player, I've watched him in a few tournaments in the US. He's a very good striker of the cricket ball and is very good against spin. Steven Taylor is a quality player, Nitish Kumar can bat as well and

Corey Anderson

brings the experience. They know the conditions very well and these grounds do not have big boundaries, so if they get going, they can hurt you."
Gayle also believes that co-hosts and two-time winners West Indies are favored by many to win the tournament, but acknowledged that it's never quite that straightforward.
"USA are making the most of home advantage so far and my hope is that the West Indies can do the same. It's never easy playing at home, especially on a big occasion like a World Cup, because the expectation is so high."
"It is actually quite rare for a home team to win a T20 World Cup but hopefully this year will be a change of fortune. We can lift the trophy on June 29 in Barbados, for sure. Having not qualified for the last ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, this tournament is so important for cricket in the Caribbean. This is a huge thing for the players to step up and be counted."
"We started with an edgy win over Papua New Guinea but sometimes an edgy win is a good win. It was important to start on a winning note and now they just need to kick on, make sure they get to the Super 8s and then look to take it further. It's up to the players now to entertain the fans and make sure we get some quality support in the stands, and fill it up," he concluded.
(With IANS inputs)

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