New Delhi, Feb 3: Offspinner Harbhajan Singh has revealed the kind of pressure players involved in India-Pakistan World Cup matches go through, citing his own personal experience of 2011 edition when he could not sleep on the eve of the semi-final and how a loss could result in fans pelting stones at their houses.
As both India and Pakistan players gear up to face off again at a World Cup, this time in Adelaide on February 15, Harbhajan and Shoaib Akhtar have spoken how tough it was in those clashes.
Harbhajan, who was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad but failed to make the 15-man squad this year, said dressing room atmosphere is always tense when playing Pakistan.
"The dressing room atmosphere is always tense," Harbhajan was quoted as saying by "Reuters" news agency today.
"Much before the dressing room, you think about it in your hotel room. Before last World Cup's match (semi-finals) in Mohali, I could not sleep the night before, thinking what if we lose.
"Fortunately we won the next day and again I could not sleep, this time because I was so overjoyed. A defeat against Pakistan means media would roast us and fans would pelt stones at our house," said the 34-year-old.
Former Pakistan paceman Akhtar said match against India is bigger than the actual tournament for many.
"For many, it's bigger than World Cup. It completely locks out 1.3 billion people. The tension is unbearable and the players' effort level doubles. We could never beat India in World Cup but, God willing, that would soon happen," Akhtar said.
India have won all 5 matches against Pakistan in World Cup history. This year's meeting will be the 6th at Adelaide Oval. Already, tickets have been sold out months before and the match is expected to break TV viewership records.