WT20: Waqar Younis feels it's time to change history and beat India

Kolkata: History may be against them but Pakistan coach Waqar Younis today said the time is perfect to rewrite it given that the Indian team is under pressure after losing its opening match of the ICC World T20.

Pakistan have never beaten their arch-rivals in an ICC World event with India having won six times in the ODI World Cup and four times in World Twenty20.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis

"No doubt history does not favour us but it's not that it cannot be changed. History also changes," said Younis on the eve the high-octane clash between India and Pakistan here.

"This time we are a bit more confident. One bad game and they (Indians) can go out of the tournament. Pressure is on India. It's a plus for us. There's a lot of things going in our favour," the coach here.

Stressing that the heat is on India, Younis said: "Such discussions around the game creates hype and builds pressure. We all are aware of this. This is for the first time Indians are under more pressure. It's a big tournament. I've been a cricketer for so many years and I don't think there would be any team who's not under pressure at this position. I'm sure they're feeling the heat."

Younis said that his team's winning start against Bangladesh in their World Twenty20 opener gives them an edge.

"That's the advantage you will get. It's a huge worry for them (India) as it has added pressure on them. The monkey on our back is off now," the 44-year-old insisted.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have an all-win record against India in four ODIs played here at the Eden gardens and Younis hoped to carry that record into the T20 as well.

"Kolkata has always been kind to us. Not only on the field but off the field. History also suggests we are a better side here," he said. Younis, however, tried to play down the hype over the match, saying it's just a sport.

"First of all, let us take it as sport. Yes, we have a sporting history in rivalry," he said.

Shahid Afridi blasted 49 off just 19 balls against Bangladesh before chipping in with two wickets with his leg breaks and Younis feels the star allrounder's return to form is the biggest plus point going into the big game tomorrow.

"We feel confident about the fact that no other team has posted 200 so far in this tournament. All our batsmen are in good form. Afridi bowling and batting was a real plus. I had said that Afridi was just one innings away from getting the form. If he plays with the same passion, it will be fine."

Afridi has been missing from the media interactions since his pre-tournament news conference, where his comment about getting "more love in India than Pakistan" drew a lot of criticism back home.

Younis chose to play it down, joking: "Probably you ask him tough question." Pakistan got a huge support in Kolkata in their last
match and Younis was overwhelmed. "We feel we're very welcome in Kolkata. People are really behind it. I'm sure they won't be behind us tomorrow but will try to play the best cricket."

The legendary pacer also heaped praise on their bowling attack and said Mohammad Amir's return from exile was a big advantage.

"The entire world knows that he's somebody who can change the game with one spell. We take it as positive sign. We have got a good bowling attack. We need to put runs on the board."

Younis said Pakistan have an upper hand as far as pace bowling is concerned. "Jasprit Bumrah has been bowled nicely. He's very young while (Ashish) Nehra coming really good. I think overall they're balanced. We take a little bit edge with the pace. Our bowlers regularly bowl 145-plus which can be an added pressure for the Indians. If we bowl well like we did in the Asia Cup, it would be a good contest."

On security arrangements, the coach said: "It's all good at the moment. We've not left the hotel yet. It's about hotel to stadium and back so far."

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