It’s going to be a Blockbuster Sunday, once again when Indian men’s hockey team will take on Pakistan in a high-voltage encounter here at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 in Dhaka.
Interestingly, Sunday will witness the 170th clash between India and Pakistan and the match is pegged to be Hero Asia Cup’s biggest encounter. Statistics show that India have just 57 wins while Pakistan have won 82 times against their nemesis India.
India – Pakistan last played at Hero Hockey World League Semi Final in London earlier this year, where India thrashed Pakistan not once, but twice.
“What happened in London was different,” asserted Pakistan skipper Mohammad Irfan on the eve of the match.
“I am aware that we lost two back-to-back matches (Pakistan lost 1-7 and 1-6) against India but the present Pakistan team is different with few of the senior players making a comeback. Our management has changed and I am confident we will put up a good show where hockey lovers from across the world will enjoy the match,” expressed the 29-year-old Pakistani Skipper Irfan.
Though Pakistan got off to a roaring start in this tournament with a 7-1 win against hosts Bangladesh, they stumbled against Japan as they settled for a 2-2 draw. On Sunday, Pakistan needs to ensure a win against India to make the Super 4s stage.
“It is a must-win game for us otherwise we know it will come down to the match between Japan and Bangladesh and if Japan beats hosts by a big margin then we are in trouble,” emphasized Irfan.
He ruled the chances his forwards missed against Japan but is hopeful they won’t make the same mistakes against India.
“We watched the video of the match against Japan. There were easy chances that we missed but we don’t want to repeat the same mistake against India. They are a strong team with good strategies but we want to focus on our individual skill,” he added.