Pakistan in India 2012-13 July 17, 2012

No room for sentiment over Pakistan series - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
29

MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said the mixed reactions to the BCCI's decision to host Pakistan in December-January for a limited-overs series have had no effect on the team. "We are professional cricketers," Dhoni told reporters in Chennai prior to the national team's departure to Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series and a T20 international. "The series will have to be played and we have to get ready for it. Sentiment does not play any part since we are taught to be professionals on field."

While many former cricketers welcomed the BCCI's decision, some, like Sunil Gavaskar and Kirti Azad, were critical, questioning the move - which revives bilateral cricketing ties after five years - due to outstanding differences between the countries since the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The series against Pakistan is part of a hectic new season for India, who host New Zealand after returning from Sri Lanka, play the World T20, then host England and Pakistan. "We have to be positive and we have to understand that we are representing the country. It will be a bit tough because of the hectic schedule but we have to do well against Pakistan also."

The decision was hailed by Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain and now a prominent politician. "I welcome India's decision to revive cricket with Pakistan," Imran told reporters in Karachi. "Anything which can bring both the countries to negotiations and normalcy is very good and we must appreciate that.

"The prospect of India and Pakistan playing against each other is a good news for international cricket because these matches are followed by millions across the world. The Indo-Pak matches are special because of the high tension and whoever deals with that extreme pressure comes out as the winner."

Pakistan last played a match in India during the 2011 World Cup, in the semi-final in Mohali. The game was attended by the Prime Ministers of both countries. Since then, a Pakistan team, Sialkot Stallions, has been allowed to participate in the Champions League T20 to be held in South Africa later in the year.

"That semi-final in Mohali is a good example of the tension and the excitement. India committed a lot of mistakes in that match but they won because Pakistan made more mistakes in comparison."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vilander on July 19, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Ind-pak is not very interesting honestly, its more like ind-sl pretty stale. Pak-eng ind-aus is more interesting.

  • denwarlo70 on July 19, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    I am a proud Sri lankan who backs my team to the hilt. We love our Lions whether we win or lose. We don't burn their houses down when they lose, what we do is encourage them by standing by them. We also like our fellow Asian cricketers from PAK, IND and BAN, but what I hate to read is all this nonsence by big talking Indian Brothers. I think you Indians and Pakistanis should put aside your political differences and start playing matches more often than not. We South Asians are plagued with political interference in our sport which is not a good sign at all. All the best team SL and IND in the 5 ODI's and the T20 and look forward to the PAK/IND matches as well. Thanks

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 19, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Pakistan ranked higher than India - thats a joke. It is because of India were not playing cricket!. Check how many times India beat Pakistan recently!

  • on July 18, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ Rafelgibt : Just like the charm was missing during 90s when mighty Pakistani team used to stomped over India with time to time ?

  • Azhar.Hassan on July 18, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    I personally feel this whole Pakistan vs India cricket thing is a bit over hyped. Sure it is nice to have competition and rivalry in sport and especially in cricket. But I feel that due to all the non-cricketing issues involved, the sports aspect tends to take a backseat. Why can't the two teams play a cricket match for sporting reasons only and not be unnecessarily burdened by the weight of history and past/present misgivings.

  • on July 18, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Haha yes Suri, what's different is the fact that you guys don't get to go home disappointed to the core after every game anymore.

  • Rafelgibt on July 18, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Come on..........Whats the big deal for IND cricketers to play against PAK???No hard feelings but PAK vs. IND lost its charms as PAK fail to produce genuine world class players........Last few years PAK is longer good enough to beat IND on regular basis..........Its simply a profit making process of BCCI.........All the best to BCCI.......

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Professional is a word to camouflage everything you otherwise would not do. Professional word is being misused frequently nowadays, Dhoni & his boys are no exception. Showing false sympathy to Bombay victims & when the time comes for them to stand by the public sentiment they use the word "Professional". It is time to boycott Ind-Pak matches as even our cricketers feel they are aloof & are behaving like sub-humans especially (Dhoni, Gambhir & Kohli). Sachin is the voice of India, he should be asked to take a stand. He is the perfect representative of India. Pakistan has not done anything to get a cricket match after 5 years, they deserve no compassion.

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Shez Khan : Pak may be ranked higher than India in Tests and T20... but I think you forgot that this is an ODI series (50overs)!!

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Smithie: Dhoni is indeed professional. Once make flaw-less DRS and he will accept it. (This is Being Professional ) ! and not using DRS doesn't give advantage to India lol !bTW, I being an Indian fan support DRS !

  • Vilander on July 19, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Ind-pak is not very interesting honestly, its more like ind-sl pretty stale. Pak-eng ind-aus is more interesting.

  • denwarlo70 on July 19, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    I am a proud Sri lankan who backs my team to the hilt. We love our Lions whether we win or lose. We don't burn their houses down when they lose, what we do is encourage them by standing by them. We also like our fellow Asian cricketers from PAK, IND and BAN, but what I hate to read is all this nonsence by big talking Indian Brothers. I think you Indians and Pakistanis should put aside your political differences and start playing matches more often than not. We South Asians are plagued with political interference in our sport which is not a good sign at all. All the best team SL and IND in the 5 ODI's and the T20 and look forward to the PAK/IND matches as well. Thanks

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 19, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Pakistan ranked higher than India - thats a joke. It is because of India were not playing cricket!. Check how many times India beat Pakistan recently!

  • on July 18, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @ Rafelgibt : Just like the charm was missing during 90s when mighty Pakistani team used to stomped over India with time to time ?

  • Azhar.Hassan on July 18, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    I personally feel this whole Pakistan vs India cricket thing is a bit over hyped. Sure it is nice to have competition and rivalry in sport and especially in cricket. But I feel that due to all the non-cricketing issues involved, the sports aspect tends to take a backseat. Why can't the two teams play a cricket match for sporting reasons only and not be unnecessarily burdened by the weight of history and past/present misgivings.

  • on July 18, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Haha yes Suri, what's different is the fact that you guys don't get to go home disappointed to the core after every game anymore.

  • Rafelgibt on July 18, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Come on..........Whats the big deal for IND cricketers to play against PAK???No hard feelings but PAK vs. IND lost its charms as PAK fail to produce genuine world class players........Last few years PAK is longer good enough to beat IND on regular basis..........Its simply a profit making process of BCCI.........All the best to BCCI.......

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Professional is a word to camouflage everything you otherwise would not do. Professional word is being misused frequently nowadays, Dhoni & his boys are no exception. Showing false sympathy to Bombay victims & when the time comes for them to stand by the public sentiment they use the word "Professional". It is time to boycott Ind-Pak matches as even our cricketers feel they are aloof & are behaving like sub-humans especially (Dhoni, Gambhir & Kohli). Sachin is the voice of India, he should be asked to take a stand. He is the perfect representative of India. Pakistan has not done anything to get a cricket match after 5 years, they deserve no compassion.

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Shez Khan : Pak may be ranked higher than India in Tests and T20... but I think you forgot that this is an ODI series (50overs)!!

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Smithie: Dhoni is indeed professional. Once make flaw-less DRS and he will accept it. (This is Being Professional ) ! and not using DRS doesn't give advantage to India lol !bTW, I being an Indian fan support DRS !

  • on July 18, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    This guy Dhoni has got BIG HEART. Doesn't over-react after winning; accepts defeats gracefully and moreover he knows what to say in media especially for other teams unlike some other impatient Captains who have been playing for years but still don't know how to behave on both on and off the field.

  • veerakannadiga on July 18, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    punish the Indians for a 7 week break!!! why fix these matches in between a heavy schedule?when Sunny feels that this series should not have been arranged, it amounts to something.BCCI, wakeup, do not overkill our players.

  • Bay-Lagaam on July 18, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Thats hilarious hehehe..."That semi-final in Mohali is a good example of the tension and the excitement. India committed a lot of mistakes in that match but they won because Pakistan made more mistakes in comparison."

  • on July 18, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    well said Smithie, i think this series should be played under DRS

  • Meety on July 18, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    @jthadani - regardless of schedule, India v Pakistan is always hard fought, & with all things added up, Pakistan should start favourites.

  • on July 18, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    @SHEZ KHAN ..India hadn't played any test match after january dat's y pakistan is ahead in test ranking bt after we thrash new zealand den come here nd cmnt again ..

  • on July 18, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    @Mr. Suri: Pal, you mean the time when Pakistan had a world class team and India had a mediocre team and we used to beat India on most occasions?

    Well we enjoyed watching it then - the tables have slightly turned and you should enjoy watching it now. However; please don't get over ambitious because Pakistan is currently ranked higher then Indian in tests right now (Pakistan 4th and India 5th) and higher in T20 as well.

    Thanks

  • Sandstorm82 on July 18, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    On the one hand it's exciting and on the other it's menacing... Rather play on neutral venues than in India... The crowds will be very hostile to our boys and it is supposed to be our "home series"

  • jthadani on July 17, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    I don't know what the BCCI was thinking when it agreed to hold this series. The Indian team has a very hectic schedule the next few months compared with a much lighter schedule for the Pakistan team. Factor in fatigue and injuries and the Indian team will not be able to perform well compared to a much fresher Pakistan team.

    I guess we might have a much closer series than what we might otherwise expect!

  • NuzairDGr8 on July 17, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Last 2 times India and Pakistan played together, India were victorious on both occasions in World Cup and Asia Cup. Its revenge time for Pakistan. Go Greens Go!

  • wamawama on July 17, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Great to see once again both the countries playing against each other but i think that india has got more the talent and experience to down pakistan now a days. lets see what happen.

  • SanjivAwesome on July 17, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    I am looking forward to some good Indo-Pak cricket.

  • on July 17, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    india vs pakistan doesn't have the same charm anymore, boy it used to be good when pakistan had the bowling attack of wasim, waqar and saqlain, and their batting was strong as well, for some reason india pakistan just doesn't feel the same anymore.

  • La_Bangla on July 17, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Smithie- What kind of logic is that? What does DRS gotta do with being Professional Cricketer? By the way, how great DRS was during the ODI series between ENgland and Aussie couple weeks ago? Looked like Sneko was picking up edges while ball was a foot away.

  • Smithie on July 17, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    If you were truly "professional on the field " you would request for DRS to be used in this and every series India plays.

  • Naveed85 on July 17, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    i like Dhoni.very matured captain

  • on July 17, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Happy to see Ind vs. Pak again. Although I feel it could have come at an earlier point from the BCCI, atleast they have put the right foot forward and should be praised. Nonetheless, I can't wait for the drama on the field!

  • Nadeem1976 on July 17, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Thanks finally Indo-pak series . Finally cricket back not normal. Thanks BCCI and PCB. Great job

  • cricket_fan_1980 on July 17, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Good decision for cricket, Proud of the PCB persistence and proud of the BCCI decision. Well done both of you guys for enabling what is critical for world cricket and the massive global south asian population!

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  • cricket_fan_1980 on July 17, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Good decision for cricket, Proud of the PCB persistence and proud of the BCCI decision. Well done both of you guys for enabling what is critical for world cricket and the massive global south asian population!

  • Nadeem1976 on July 17, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Thanks finally Indo-pak series . Finally cricket back not normal. Thanks BCCI and PCB. Great job

  • on July 17, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Happy to see Ind vs. Pak again. Although I feel it could have come at an earlier point from the BCCI, atleast they have put the right foot forward and should be praised. Nonetheless, I can't wait for the drama on the field!

  • Naveed85 on July 17, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    i like Dhoni.very matured captain

  • Smithie on July 17, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    If you were truly "professional on the field " you would request for DRS to be used in this and every series India plays.

  • La_Bangla on July 17, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Smithie- What kind of logic is that? What does DRS gotta do with being Professional Cricketer? By the way, how great DRS was during the ODI series between ENgland and Aussie couple weeks ago? Looked like Sneko was picking up edges while ball was a foot away.

  • on July 17, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    india vs pakistan doesn't have the same charm anymore, boy it used to be good when pakistan had the bowling attack of wasim, waqar and saqlain, and their batting was strong as well, for some reason india pakistan just doesn't feel the same anymore.

  • SanjivAwesome on July 17, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    I am looking forward to some good Indo-Pak cricket.

  • wamawama on July 17, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Great to see once again both the countries playing against each other but i think that india has got more the talent and experience to down pakistan now a days. lets see what happen.

  • NuzairDGr8 on July 17, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Last 2 times India and Pakistan played together, India were victorious on both occasions in World Cup and Asia Cup. Its revenge time for Pakistan. Go Greens Go!