India skipper Rohit Sharma says he knows the importance of an India-Pakistan cricket match but will not put undue pressure on himself and his team by constantly thinking about the hype being generated around the contest across the cricketing world.
India will play arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 12 match in front of a packed MCG crowd on October 23, hoping to take revenge for their 10-wicket thrashing in the 2021 T20 World Cup opener in the UAE, but Sharma said there is "no point just talking about it" and putting oneself under pressure.
"(Pakistan skipper) Babar (Azam) is absolutely right. We understand the importance of the game, but there's no point just talking about it every time and creating that pressure within yourself," said Sharma during the Captains' Day interaction on the eve of the commencement of the showpiece event.
Asked how confident he was about his supposedly depleted bowling side going into the big game against Pakistan, Sharma said he would like to just focus on the resources he has at his disposal at the moment.
"Injury is part and parcel of the sport. There's nothing much (that) can be done about it," said Sharma, refusing to get into the debate over missing the services of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and quick Deepak Chahar, all of whom are out due to injuries.
Sharma, who was part of the winning India side during the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007, said the game has evolved so much that he himself gets surprised at times.
"I mean, it's been a long time since 2007. When I was picked for that World Cup, I literally didn't go with any expectations about myself nor the team. I just wanted to enjoy the tournament, play the tournament because that was my first ever World Cup, so I had no understanding of what is it like to be part of the World Cup and how big it is going to be until we won the World Cup.
"Yeah, and from there until now, it's been a long journey. The game has evolved so much that you can literally see how it's being played now compared to what it was in 2007. 140, 150 was a good score back then; and now people try and get that score in 14-15 overs," added Sharma.
He added the teams were taking more risks without worrying about the results, which, he felt, was good for the format.
"Yeah, it's just that the teams have become more fearless. They have started to take a lot of risk without worrying about the result, which I think is a good way to play this kind of format. Yeah, it is something that our team is also trying to do because this is the kind of format where there is risk, but there's literally high rewords, as well. You've got to be brave enough to take those risks, and certainly we'll be prepared to do that, as well.
"I think that's my understanding from 2007 to 2022. A lot of things have changed, obviously, but yeah, it's been a good one to see the game evolved in all these years."