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Pakistan play it cool

Enjoy the game and forget the pressure. That seems to be the watchword of the Pakistan team. "We are here to enjoy ourselves and our cricket," says Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez. Subhash Rajta reports.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2012 10:52 IST

Enjoy the game and forget the pressure. That seems to be the watchword of this Pakistan team. Every time the word 'pressure' was thrown at Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez - and it came up nearly in every question during Pakistan's first media interaction after landing in India on Saturday night - the skipper ducked it with a broad smile and charming response: "We are here to enjoy ourselves and our cricket."

Maybe, just to prove he meant what he was saying, he went to the extent of saying that, "winning or losing don't matter. We are here to play good cricket and enjoy ourselves," he said.

That's quite a brave thing for any captain to say ahead of any India-Pakistan contest. Of course, he would want to win games for his country as keenly as anyone from either side, but taking that undue pressure of the equation is smart captaincy.

"I will try to keep pressure away and would also tell my boys not to think about it and just enjoy themselves and play freely."

In what sounded like a strategy (not to succumb to pressure questions), Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore, too, brushed aside the question about the pressure coaching Pakistan against India would naturally bring.

"This is of course a special series and I am looking forward to it. But I won't say we are doing anything different. It's all about skills and executing them."

The skipper also showed a lot of positivity in his approach. Even though Pakistan haven't had any cricket at home for the last three years, he said they still internationally competitive.

"We miss not playing at home, the crowd miss it, too. But we are coping with it really well, and are bring good results for the country. That's something we are extremely proud about," he said.

The skipper also hoped that this short series will lead to a full-fledged between the two nations. " This is a fresh start between the two cricketing nations and I am sure we will be playing Tests in near future," he said.

India team reaches Bangalore
PTI adds: Meanwhile, the Indian cricket sans pacer Ishant Sharma reached Bangalore on Sunday for the first Twenty20 International.

Ishant is expected to arrive here later on Sunday night.

Tight security was provided for the Indian team's arrival at the airport. Karnataka State Reserve Police, Central Industrial Security Force, city police and gun-totting City Armed Reserves personnel were deployed at the airport.

After Bangalore, both India and Pakistan will head to Ahmedabad for the second T20 match on December 27 before travelling to Chennai for the first of the three-match ODI series, starting December 30.