Refusing to be intimidated by the star-studded Indian cricket team, United Arab Emirates skipper Mohammad Tauqir said his side will treat the World Cup clash against the defending champions as “just another game”.
“We know they are big stars, but we will take this game like the last previous two games. The intensity is going to be the same, and we’ll take it like just another game. We will not be intimidated by their names or their status,” Tauqir said at the pre-match media conference today.
Tauqir had made his ODI debut against India in Asia Cup in Sri Lanka back in 2004 when he had taken VVS Laxman’s wicket and the 43-year-old is expecting a repeat of that. “Of course, we’d like to do well. All the boys are looking forward to this game. I mean, yeah, that game was a long time back. In the last few games, the fielding boys have done a good job and everybody would like to repeat a good performance.”
The UAE team is a mix of local players as well as players of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan origin. The skipper feels that having a number of Indians pitted against India isn’t a problem at all.
“Absolutely not. That is not an issue in the dressing room. I mean, if you look at UAE as a country, it’s a very cosmopolitan country, more than 16 nationalities living there. Most of these boys are living there for over 10 to 15 years and UAE is now like a home for them. So that’s not an issue (Indians vs India) at all,” the skipper reiterated.
UAE have batted well in both matches scoring in excess of 275 against Zimbabwe and Ireland but haven’t been able to defend. The skipper says that it’s not a case of “stage fright” for them.
“The Zimbabwe game was close. The Ireland game was even closer, so we are getting closer to the win. We know we’re playing well. Mentally everybody is very, very calm. We’re not getting emotional by the situation. We are taking it easy, sticking to our basics and doing the basics right and enjoying the game.”
“If you look at the Zimbabwe match and game against Ireland after that, there’s definitely been an overall improvement in performance. The Zimbabwe game was over in 47th and Ireland went up to the last over. So we’re getting closer to the victory. Everybody’s enjoying this event and playing a good cricket,” Tauqir said.