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'I hope that this Pakistan team can beat India in the World Cup'

January 17, 2015 21:30 IST

Suresh Raina of India leaps into the arms of team mate Harbhajan Singh with MS Dhoni (right) ad Misbah-ul-Haq of Pakistan looking on during the 2011 World Cup semi-final in Mohali. Photograph: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Pakistan's most capped player Inzamam-ul-Haq wants to see the national team create history in the forthcoming Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand by defeating arch-rivals India in the opening match in Adelaide. 

"Throughout my career we beat India in many matches but for some reason we never managed to get the better of them in World Cup matches and it remains a disappointment for me," he said on Saturday. 

"I hope that this Pakistan team can beat India in a World Cup game," Inzamam said at the launching of a cricket academy in Lahore named after him.
The academy has been launched as the Inzamam-ul-Haq academy but in reality it is owned by a Multan-based NGO which requested Inzamam to get involved in the academy and put his name to it. 

"Even the ground to be used by the academy in Lahore is owned by the regional cricket body and will be used on hire basis," one source said.

'The pressures of playing in the World Cup are different'

Inzamam-Ul-Haq of Pakistan is run out by Anil Kumble of India during the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the Supersport Stadium in Centurion. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Inzamam who appeared in 120 Tests and 378 one-day internationals taking part in five World Cup campaigns one as captain in 2007 said he was hopeful the national would do well in the coming event. 

"The pressures of playing in the World Cup are different but it was because we coped with them in 1992 under Imran Khan's guidance and influence that we won the Cup," he recalled. 

Inzamam also noted that while Pakistan would miss the services of Saeed Ajmal in the coming mega event but the other players needed to step in and put up their hands. 

"We also lost Waqar before the 92’ World Cup and we had some fitness issues but under Imran's captaincy the others filled in the gap and that is what is required in this event as well."

'This team has the opportunity to set things right against India'

The Indian team celebrate victory over Pakistan during the 2011 ICC World Cup second semi-final in Mohali. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Inzamam said the key to doing well in a World Cup was collective efforts and players backing each other up. 

"I think it is very important to play as a complete unit and the players are fortunate to have seasoned campaigners like Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Moin Khan and Grant Flower to guide them," Inzamam said. 

Inzamam said the World Cup quarter final defeat to India in 1996 and then the defeat at the Centurion ground in World Cup 2003 still rankled him.

"Losing those games was disappointing but now this team has the opportunity to set things right," he noted. He said he expected a very close and tense match as both sides had their strong and weak points.

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