India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant said he gets goosebumps playing arch-rivals Pakistan, calling it “a different kind of feeling” to any other team. The two sides meet in a blockbuster clash to open their Twenty20 World Cup campaigns at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. About 100,000 fans have snapped up tickets for what is set to be a carnival atmosphere, although forecast rain could put a dampener on the party.
“It’s always special playing against Pakistan because there is a special hype around that match,” Pant told the official World Cup website Friday.
“There are so much emotions involved, not only for us, but the fans and everyone.
“It’s a different kind of feeling, a different kind of ambiance when you go on to the field and when you take on the field, you see people cheering here and there.
“It’s a different atmosphere and when we were singing our national anthem, I actually get goosebumps.”
Pant is no guarantee to play, seemingly in a battle with veteran Dinesh Karthik for the wicketkeeping role, although he could still feature as a specialist batsman if selectors want to bolster their middle-order.
Indian great Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports he felt both players could be accommodated.
“It’s just that maybe, if they decide to go with six bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being the sixth bowler, then he (Pant) may not be able to find a place,” he said.
“But if they decide to go with Hardik Pandya as a fifth bowler, then Rishabh Pant has an opportunity to bat at number six and Karthik maybe at number seven, followed by the four bowlers.”
Pant said if selected he would look to Virat Kohli for advice.
“It’s good to have someone with a lot of experience batting with you because he can take you through how to take the game on and how to maintain that run-a-ball pressure kind of thing,” he said.
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