Defeating India in CT would be big: Younis

Pakistan captain Younis Khan says he has a "burning ambition" to set the record straight against India by defeating them in the Champions Trophy.

updated: August 25, 2009 14:28 IST
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Pakistan captain Younis Khan says he has a "burning ambition" to set the record straight against India by defeating them in the Champions Trophy beginning in South Africa next month.

Since the ICC launched the 50-overs World Cup in 1975 and other world events, Pakistan have only once defeated India in these events when they won at Birmingham in the 2004 Champions Trophy.

"The fact that we lost twice to India in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and then also in that World Cup match in 2003 in South Africa still hurts," Younis said.

"India is a very good one-day side but it is my burning ambition to set the record straight against them and defeat them this time in the Champions Trophy in South Africa this time," he said.

Bilateral cricket ties between the two countries has remained suspended since the terror attacks in Mumbai last November with India canceling a scheduled Test tour to Pakistan in January this year.

"It would be a big moment when we play India in the Champions Trophy pool match at the Centurion on September 26 as we have not played against each other for a while now," Younis said.

"It will not be easy but we have some extra incentive to beat India given our track record in South Africa," he added.

Younis refused to rule out defending champions Australia as a strong contender for the Champions Trophy due to their recent Ashes series defeat in England.

"It would be foolish to rule out Australia just because they have lost the Ashes. They have a strong domestic structure and this ensures they have good back up talent. It is a matter of time before they settle down and stage a strong fightback," he said.

Younis said he had a lot of respect for Australia and said although they have lost the Ashes they were capable of doing well in the Champions Trophy under an experienced captain like Ricky Ponting.

"You can never rule out teams like Australia or South Africa. They comeback strongly because they stick to their basic plans very well and they have back up plans as well all the time."

The Pakistan captain said his team was capable of winning the Champions Trophy as they had a good combination of players and felt Mohammad Asif's selection would add depth to the bowling attack.

"But he (Asif) has not played for a long time and we will not be putting too much pressure on him. We are not going to South Africa with high expectations from him. He will require time to settle down in international cricket again."