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India-Pakistan rivalry bigger than the Ashes - Ashwin

India-Pakistan rivalry bigger than the Ashes - Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (right) has played four T20Is against Pakistan and picked three wickets in it.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reckons that the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is bigger than the rivalry between England and Australia in the Ashes.

Traditionally India and Pakistan have played quite a number of engaging games in their history but in the recent times the number of matches between the teams have reduced drastically due to the cross border tensions between the countries.

The India-Pakistan match of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 was also shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata due to security concerns raised by Pakistan.

Ashwin feels that for the fans, it is a very emotional encounter but the players have to keep the emotions aside and play the game to the best of their abilities.

“This rivalry is huge, it’s very hard to put a finger and tell how huge it is.

“It’s probably bigger than the Ashes.

“As far as Indians and Pakistanis go, I don’t think they watch this as a game of cricket.

“It’s more of a border rivalry.

“They put their emotions into the game.

“For the players it’s trying to keep their emotions aside and playing the game the best way we can.”

India started off the ICC World T20 as the favorites but went on to suffer a 47-run defeat in the hands of New Zealand in their first game of the tournament.

Ashwin argued that the loss against New Zealand in Nagpur will only make the team stronger and more dangerous as they progress in the tournament.

“I think if ever there is an international team that can put that (the opening loss) behind, it is us.

“From here on if we go through we will be probably more dangerous than we were at the start of the tournament.”

Having never lost a World T20 game against Pakistan, India will look to keep that record intact when they face their arch rivals on the 19th March in Kolkata.

© Cricket World 2016