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Pakistan pumped up to face India - Shahid Afridi

Both India and Pakistan will lock horns on 19th March in Dharamsala for the World Twenty20 encounter
Both India and Pakistan will lock horns on 19th March in Dharamsala for the World Twenty20 encounter
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan Twenty20 International captain Shahid Afridi admitted that his team is pumped up to play the arch-rivals India in the upcoming 2016 World T20 encounter in Dharamsala.

In Group Two of the World T20, Pakistan have been placed alongside India, Australia, New Zealand and a team from the qualifying round.

Admitting Pakistan are placed in a tough group, Afridi is hoping to finalise the squad during the limited overs series in New Zealand next month.

"It is a tough draw for us and we are looking forward to the second match against India in Dharamsala," Afridi said.

"We have little time left to prepare for the World T20 and we need to finalise our combination when we tour New Zealand next month.

"I say it is a tough draw for us because in T20 cricket there are no second chances.

“We have been making too many mistakes in recent matches and we need to leave that behind us now.”

Pakistan have never won a World Cup match against India in either 50-over or 20-over formats and Afridi feels that such a statistic motivates his team to perform well.

“Everyone is excited about this match and I know we have never beaten them in a World Cup or World T20 match.

“So it is a big challenge for us and I hope it also motivates the team to do well and try to win the title once again.

“Results can be changed by playing well at any time so what has happened in the past is history.

“I can tell you we are already pumped up for the India match.” 

India and Pakistan agreed to play a bilateral series in Sri Lanka in December but so far the Board of Control for Cricket in India has not received approval from the Indian government.

Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan stated in October that the board will consider boycotting the World T20 encounter against India if the bilateral series does not go ahead as proposed.

Leaving the decision up to the PCB, Afridi acknowledged that an India-Pakistan clash is always followed widely across the world.

“What the PCB decides we will follow but as cricketers we know a Indo-Pak clash is followed all around the world and that pumps up the competition level for everyone.” 

Pakistan will tour New Zealand in January to play three T20Is and three One-Day Internationals following which they will head to Bangladesh for the 2016 Asia Cup, which will be a Twenty20 tournament.

© Cricket World 2015