India’s T20I vice-captain KL Rahul is “very excited” for his team’s Asia Cup 2022 campaign opener against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.
Pakistan beat India in its opening game of the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE by 10 wickets. It was the first time Pakistan had won a men’s World Cup fixture in any format against India, across 13 matches. However, Rahul feels both teams will start again from scratch.
“Losing any game in a World Cup always hurts. The match against Pakistan was our first game of the tournament and we were all very excited. Every team plays to win but unfortunately it didn’t happen for us,” Rahul said during a press conference on Friday.
“We were outplayed by a really strong team. We are looking forward to this contest (on Sunday). History doesn’t count.”
India captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have heralded a change in the team’s T20 approach, putting more emphasis on aggressive strokeplay upfront.
Rahul, who is expected to open the batting in Asia Cup, hasn’t played a single T20I — because of injury and contracting COVID-19 — since the end of IPL 2022. But the Karnataka batter is looking forward to the new challenge.
“Just after the T20 World Cup last year, we spoke about how we need to improve individually and be aggressive. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play T20Is, but I tried playing that way in IPL to see if I can be consistent with that approach, “ Rahul said.