Karachi: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has ruled out "pressure factor" ahead of his team's crucial Asia Cup match against arch-rivals India on March 18.
"We are not looking at the match as one where we want to take revenge for the 2011 World Cup defeat. That will only mean adding pressure on ourselves," he told reporters at the Karachi airport, on Wednesday night as the national team departed for Dhaka to take part in the four-nation event.
Pakistan play hosts Bangladesh on March 11 in the opening match of the tourney.
"We don't want to take any pressure of playing India. We are looking at the tournament as one where we have to be careful against all the teams including Bangladesh who can cause an upset on their home ground," Misbah noted.
He also insisted that the team had gotten over their recent ODI defeats to England in the UAE.
"We just have to ensure that we don't make the same mistakes that we made against England. Because India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, all represent strong challenges and they are all in form."
He pointed out that India and Sri Lanka had been playing recently in Australia while the Bangladeshi players had been involved in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Misbah said that with a new coach and fielding coach in place with the team obviously the players wanted to make a fresh start in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore told the media that he saw the forthcoming Asia Cup as a big challenge for him on his first assignment with the team.
"It is going to be a big challenge because we will be playing against top one-day sides and in a event like the Asia Cup there are no second chances so we have to be sharp for every match," he said.
Whatmore made it clear that he had asked the players to focus and take every match importantly in the Asia Cup and not just focus on the game with India.
"Obviously it is a match everyone is talking about but we have to look at the tournament from a broader perspective."
Many observers and critics believe the Asia Cup will be crucial for the future of Misbah as captain of the one-day and T20 sides, while it is also important for Whatmore to make a winning start since he has replaced Mohsin Khan who as head coach guided Pakistan to wins over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England.