Anil Kumble: Players feel extra pressure to win India-Pakistan match

Former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble shares insights on the pressure and emotions surrounding India-Pakistan cricket matches, emphasizing the importance of winning in these high-stakes encounters.

Legendary former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble has shed light on the immense pressure and emotions that surround India-Pakistan cricket matches, emphasizing how crucial it is for players to secure a victory in these high-stakes encounters.

With the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan match set to take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday, cricket fans worldwide are buzzing with excitement. India, led by Rohit Sharma, holds an impressive 7-0 lead in Men’s ODI World Cup matches against Pakistan.

Regarding the unique preparations and feelings leading up to this epic clash, Kumble remarked, “Not really, I think the preparations will be the same. It’s just that on that particular day when you walk onto the field, you will certainly have that feeling of ‘yes, we have to win this.’ The result matters, and it’s India vs. Pakistan. India has always triumphed over Pakistan in a World Cup match.”


He also acknowledged the heightened nervousness and intensity that come with an India-Pakistan game. “The nervousness is there for any game, but more so for an India-Pakistan game. Once the first ball is bowled, everything is back to normal.”

Kumble, who also served as India’s head coach, shared his insights into how Indian players should manage their emotions and prepare for this much-anticipated clash. “It’s just about doing the regular things you would do when preparing for any other match. You don’t want to change things just because it’s an India-Pakistan game.”

“The turnaround has been quick, with just two days between matches. Players might consider a light practice together, maybe just to get a feel for the ground or engage in a friendly game. It’s important to let the players decide whether they want to bat or bowl. Some players will view it as a home game.”

Kumble highlighted the significance of the match for players with connections to the stadium’s location. “Jasprit Bumrah hails from that state, and even though they don’t play for Gujarat, you have Jadeja, Hardik. For them, it’s a home game, and they will have plenty of family in the crowd. It’s a special feeling to walk out there and represent your country and team.”

Dale Steyn, the renowned South African fast bowler, weighed in on how emotions can overshadow performance in high-pressure games. “Yes, it can take away from your usual style of play. You start thinking about personal achievements, like wanting to be the man of the match. This can lead to overextending yourself. To succeed, you should focus on doing your part and playing your role. Let the game unfold naturally.”



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