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Iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has called on the national team’s batsmen to play aggressively against Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir in their World Cup clash on Sunday.
Tendulkar’s comments come after Amir took his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs in Pakistan’s World Cup loss to Australia.
With that five-for, the 27-year-old is now the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 10 wickets at an average of 12.30.
Tendulkar also noted that Pakistan will be looking to dismiss India opener Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli early on as they are “the two more experienced players in the line-up”.
“Rohit and Virat are the two more experienced players in the line-up and Pakistan [will] be focusing on getting them [out] early without any doubt as that opens the game for them,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by India Today. “Amir and Wahab Riaz will definitely target their wickets early on. But, Rohit and Virat should also be looking to play long innings. The plan should be that the rest of the guys play around them.
“[On Wednesday], his (Amir) first spell was very accurate. He was hitting the right areas and made (Aaron) Finch’s life difficult. I wouldn’t go in with a negative mindset of playing dot balls against him. If you get an opportunity, I would encourage India to play their shots and stay positive.
“It’s not about survival but rather going out there and even defending positively. No need to do anything different. We need to be aggressive in all departments. The body language is important – the bowler knows that you’re in control if you defend confidently.”
Pakistan will play India in Manchester, and the men in green will be looking to snap their winless streak against their arch-rivals as India have triumphed in their six World Cup meetings to date.
However, Pakistan can take confidence from the fact that they demolished India by 180 runs in the Champions Trophy final in 2017.