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IANS

India will begin their Asia Cup campaign with a high-voltage encounter against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

K.L. Rahul, addressing a press conference, said, "We all are very excited and we always look forward to the clash between India and Pakistan."

"These big tournaments are always exciting and there is a history of rivalry and (thus) the game always comes with high intensity. We learned from our mistakes, and we are looking forward to this match with a new approach," he added.

The last time the two sides met in the T20 World Cup in October last year, Pakistan had thrashed India by 10 wickets. With scores to settle on Sunday, the Men in Blue looked determined and upbeat when they hit the nets ahead of the big match.

"Losing any game always hurts you, it was the first game of the world cup, and we were very excited. Now we get another opportunity to face each other. It is a contest we always take it in a sporty manner. Each game starts with zero...," Rahul said when about the last clash with Pakistan.

On Virat Kohli's performance, Rahul said, "Everyone has his own opinion. It doesn't bother big players like Virat, he is working on his game, the standard Virat has set, he is hungry to match it again."

"We cannot run away from India-Pakistan rivalry, and as a player, sometimes it is visible also. But once we are on the ground, we look the opposition only as a cricketer and give our best... We share our experiences with each other and learn from each other as cricket players," he said while responding to relations between the two sides.

On Shaheen Afridi, Rahul said, "We pray for his recovery but yes, his presence is always good for batsmen to face world-class bowling and we will miss him."

Talking about the Zimbabwe trip, Rahul said it was an opportunity for him to get back his confidence after injury, and now he can focus on my skills.

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