27 January, 2021

'It Will All Come Down To Mental Strength'

'When the Indians go there, they will know what it is to be Indian and to play Pakistan in Pakistan'

'It Will All Come Down To Mental Strength'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Ravi Shastri first toured Pakistan in the season of 1982-83 as a nervous 20-year old. He went there twice after that, in 1984-85 and 1989-90. Here he recounts the numbing feeling of being an Indian cricketer in Pakistan.

The details of everything around me when I first landed in Pakistan are not very clear. It was over 20 years ago but I remember what it was to play there. Every Indian cricketer should have the fortune to tour that country. The contest is severe. The pressure is beyond anything imaginable. The Pakistani crowds...well let me put it simply, they make it known who they are supporting. My first tour of Pakistan made me twice the cricketer that I was.

I remember my first hundred in Karachi. I remember the fierce pace of Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz. In Lahore, during the 1984-85 season, I remember getting out lbw at 71 to, of all people, Salim Malik. I couldn't believe it when Shakoor Rana's finger went up. Worse, on my way to the dressing room I saw Rana give me the dirtiest look in the world because he was outraged that anybody could object to...

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