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'India match is a final for Pakistan'

Last updated on: June 14, 2013 19:05 IST

'India match is a final for Pakistan'

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Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq reckons Saturday's Champions Trophy contest against India in Birmingham will be "one last chance to prove ourselves" in front of the world.

The last Group B match between the arch-rivals is technically a dead rubber, but Misbah said his team "will play for the fans".

"It's a final for us. A win against the World champions will be a great compensation. At least the fans will be happy," Misbah said, after Pakistan trained on Friday morning under overcast conditions and a light drizzle.


Image: The Indian cricket team celebrates the wall of a wicket
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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'It's the biggest rivalry in cricket'

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Pakistan's captain refused to take the match against India as just another game.

"For us, it's a big opportunity. Everywhere in the world the fans look forward to this game and I would like India and Pakistan to play more often for the sake of the audience. It's the biggest rivalry in cricket," Misbah said.

He went on to add that there is no pressure on the team and his players are relaxed.

"We know we are out of the tournament, but I have told the boys to look at every game as their last chance to prove themselves. We will express ourselves well tomorrow."


Image: Misbah-ul-Haq
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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'Our bowlers have the experience and belief to challenge Indian batsmen'

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Misbah said his team will remember the 2-1 ODI win in India this winter.

"The teams are almost the same and our bowlers have the experience and belief to challenge Indian batsmen," he said.

India's batting is on a high, admitted the affable Pakistan skipper. "When you score 300 runs consistently and win your opening two games of a short tournament quite easily, a team is bound to look good, but tomorrow, we will give them a good fight," Misbah said.


Image: Indian fans at the ICC Champions Trophy
Photographs: by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Tags: Misbah , ODI , India , Pakistan

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'We can redeem ourselves against India this time'

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Pakistan have never lost to India in six editions of the championship. They beat India twice in the Champions Trophy, the first time at Edgbaston in September, 2004. But Misbah said history won't matter.

"Every game is a fresh game. The team that will take the conditions in stride, handle the fan pressure and play well shall be the clear winner," he insisted.

He pointed out that bowling is Pakistan's biggest strength going into the match.

"Our top order has failed and we have been unable to build partnerships. We have always felt the pressure while batting, but we can surely redeem ourselves against India this time."


Image: Pakistan fans at the ICC Champions Trophy
Photographs: by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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